Today is my birthday (71) and I want to share a few thoughts. Although I am getting older, I am not getting “old.” Older is a biological fact whereas getter old is an attitude and state of mind–at least in my humble opinion.
Some say you are only as old as you feel so, in actuality I am 35. I have a lot of passion in my spirit, dreams in my heart & more miles left on my “tires” as Jesus continues to show His grace toward me and allows me more years.
Here are three passages of scripture that currently motivate me:
“They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green (one translation has it ‘fresh and flourishing’)” Psalm 92:14 NIV
By His grace and with the power of the Holy Spirit, I want to continue to be fruitful and flourishing like an older tree with great fruit on its aging limbs.
“Now Joshua was old and advanced in years, and the Lord said to him, ‘you are old and advanced in years, and there remains yet very much land to possess.’ ” Joshua 13:1 ESV
Even though I am older, there is much to do for the Kingdom and, like Caleb when he was 80, I want to continue to try impossible things, climb difficult mountains, do what I’ve never done; all for Jesus.
“So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” Psalm 71:18 ESV
Since an integral part of my calling is leaving footprints in the hearts of God-hungry leaders, this verse has become a ministry life verse for me. Application-wise, I take “forsake me” as not being usable any more. I deeply want to be used in impacting the next generation of leaders through coaching, writing and teaching.
Now that we have camped a bit on the serious side, let me throw in a little humor. As I age, it is important to keep my sense of humor and not be a dour old fart like some older people I know…I don’t want to become one of them!
You can tell you’re getting older when…
- Everything hurts…and what doesn’t hurt doesn’t work
- You feel like the morning after and you didn’t go anywhere the night before
- You know all the answers, but nobody’s asking you any questions
- You sit in a rocking chair and you can’t get the darn thing going
- You burn the midnight oil until 9pm
- Your back goes out more often than you do
- After painting the town red, you have to talk a long rest before applying a second coat
- You look forward to a dull evening
- When you have two choices you choose the one that gets you home earlier
- You realize that everyone has a photographic memory, but everyone doesn’t have film
- You’ve seen it all, done it all, but can’t remember most of it
- You understand that he who laughs last, thinks slowest
I end with what I want to become as I age:
Lord, you know better than I do that I am growing older and will some day be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody’s life. Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it does seem a pity not to use it all, but I do want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains; they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.
I don’t ask for improved memory, but for growing humility, and a lessened arrogance when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.
Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint—some of them are so hard to live with. A bitter old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see the good things in unexpected places and gifting in ordinary people, and give me the grace to tell them so.