Checked your telomeres recently?
Telomeres are the end caps of chromosomes. They protect them and have been likened to the plastic tips on shoelaces. When telomeres shorten, become frayed or thin out, it adversely effects cell development and accelerates the aging process. Therefore, the longer your telomeres are, the lower your biological age is—regardless of your chronological age. And with that, for the low, low price of $89 you can have your telomeres tested to see how they measure up. On the commercial I saw, a 42 year old woman was pleased to tell us that her cellular age was 29.
Of course she was—she got out of the forties, skipped the thirties completely and landed back in the twenties. You give a 42 year old a product that allows them to tell others they are 29 and you can charge a lot more than $89 dollars for it. The commercial went on to show a 35 year old man who was 41 years old in cellular years. But instead of asking for a refund, he started exercising and taking better care of himself (which can add length to your telomeres). He retested the next year and even though he had gained a year chronologically, he had lost 7 years from his cellular age which was now 34.
Of course, all of this is nothing more than the latest in our never ending attempts to control the aging process. Cleopatra reportedly bathed in donkey milk, women in Elizabethan England put slices of raw meat on their face, while Ponce De Leon discovered Florida but not the fountain of youth he was looking for. More recently there’s been Retin-A, Botox, and now telomere testing.
The commercial mentioned that the company was founded by a Nobel Prize winner. What it doesn’t tell you is that she is no longer affiliated with them. She was asked in an interview if people needed to have their telomeres tested. Here’s what she said: “The answer is no. I see no harm in it, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot. You could be long one year and short another year.” (You can figure out why she’s no longer with the company).
The truth is, taking care of yourself through exercise, diet, and managing stress is the best can do. But even then there are no guarantees. The search will continue for the fountain of youth but the results are predictable. Aging and death will remain a part of life whether we like it or not.
If that seems depressing, it need not be. The truth is there is a source of absolute life available to us in a place many people never think to look—in God’s love. After all, it is only as a result of His love that we are in here in the first place. But there’s more to God’s love. In Romans 5 Paul says “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners. Christ died for us” (v. 8). He also tells us that “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (v. 5). God’s Son and God’s Spirit assure us of His love for us.
When you stop and think about it, that’s the kind of life assurance we need—not something that extends the quantity of our existence a few more years, but something that changes the quality of that existence. Moreover to know God through Jesus is to possess eternal life (John 17:3). Eternal life is more than just living forever—it is sharing in the very life of God (which is of an eternal nature).
That’s the kind of life assurance we need!