There is something else you should know about the outer you. Paul said it like this: “Outwardly we are wasting away.” Sooner or later, Old Man Wrinkle is coming for everybody.

If you have any doubts about whether or not this is true, just take a look at your best friend. Or when you’re all alone, look in the mirror. From about the age of twenty-five, certain changes to the outer you start to kick in. Bones begin to lose calcium and get brittle. Skin begins to lose elasticity and shrivel. Age spots begin to multiply. You look down at your hands one day and realize you’re looking at your parents’ hands.

You start losing brain cells at an alarming rate. If you’re over thirty, you lose thousands of brain cells every day. If you’re very, very quiet, you can hear some of them dying right now.

Weight starts shifting from the poles of your body toward the equator. Hair will stop growing where you want it to and boldly go to places no hair has gone before. (I knew I was irremediably in the wasting away process a few years ago when I received not one but two nose hair trimmers from two different relatives for Christmas.)

It may be that you are not yet twenty-five. At some deep, preconscious level, you’re thinking, This will never happen to me; I will never grow old like that.

Everyone in your life who is over thirty wants you to know they understand. They love you. But it will happen to you. And frankly, they’re looking forward to it.

You can fight Old Man Wrinkle all you want. You can lavish time and money on the outer you: exercise it, starve it, Botox it, Rogaine it, stretch it, lift it, nip it, tuck it, tan it, dress it up at Neiman Marcus. One day it will just be very expensive worm food. Old Man Wrinkle will wait you out.

John Ortberg, When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).

We have just released a new Bible Study based on John Ortberg’s Book, When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box, by John Ortberg.

These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.

Lessons include:

Lesson #1
Chapters 1 – 2
Learn Rule #1
Be Rich Toward God

Lesson #2
Chapters 3 – 4
Three Ways to Keep Score
Master the Inner Game

Lesson #3
Chapters 5 – 6; Untie Your Ropes
Resign as Master of the Board

Lesson #4
Chapters 7 – 9
No One Else Can Take Your Turn
Remember Your Stuff Isn’t Yours
Prevent Regret

Lesson #5
Chapters 10 – 11
Play by the Rules
Fill Each Square with What Matters Most

Lesson #6
Chapters 12 – 14
Roll the Dice
Play with Gratitude
Find Your Mission

Lesson #7
Chapters 15, 16
Beware the Shadow Mission
Two Cheers for Competition

Lesson #8
Chapters 17 – 19
More Will Never Be Enough
Winning Alone Is Called Losing
Be the Kind of Player People Want to Sit Next To

Lesson #9
Chapters 20 – 21
Collect the Right Trophies
The King Has One More Move