"When I picture these extra years of long life I don't immediately think of a happy, fulfilled person sitting in a rocking chair and receiving visitors. Instead, what comes to mind is more like a chase scene in a movie with Matt Damon playing Jason Bourne. The driver is maneuvering against oncoming traffic, and the likelihood of collision is high. With split-second timing he swerves to avoid obstacles, but his instincts are amazingly sure. The accumulated experience of a lifetime gives him very sharp judgment, uncanny skill. He moves with a kind of dead-on certainty toward what he is chasing. Life, in this scenario, is an obstacle course, and the winners are those who skirt the worst of it.

"At the same time the person in question gives way to reality. He or she can't predict exactly what lies ahead. The oncoming traffic of existence is part of the joy, part of the challenge and excitement. Not only that: the heart surrenders and lets go.

"Two older people I have worked with in Renovare are William Vaswig and Roger Fredrikson. Vaswig, a Lutheran pastor and prayer-healer, died in his late seventies after dealing for many years with a heart ailment. Fredrikson, a pastor who recently turned ninety, has struggled with various forms of cancer. Sometimes he is in remission. Sometimes the cancer returns. Always Fredrickson lives joyfully with simple trust in God.

"Both of these men are known for strong faith. Their constant drive along the obstacle course of living seems to show unerring skill. I have loved being with them to share their childlike vitality and joy. Both men have reminded me to enjoy the adventure of living, to relish the unexpected. I think it is all about trust — how they have trusted God with the arc of their lives, the trajectory of their existence."