Old?

Written by cycleguy on November 12th, 2012

I have stated  before that I am now 60 years old as of October 9th.  (It is not too late to send me birthday wi$he$).  :)  I can remember thinking, “Boy, I can’t wait till I’m old enough to (you fill in the blank). ”

When I was in college, I couldn’t wait to get out and “tell it like it is.”  Aaaaah yeah.

When I was a Youth Pastor, I couldn’t wait for the time I became a “real Pastor.”  You know…the guy who no longer had to stay up all night with kids doing things like All Night Rock-a-Thons and other silly stuff like that.

Then I became  “real Pastor” (Translated: Senior Pastor) and found out age meant a whole lot of difference.  I needed to be 30…like yesterday.  30 seemed to be the magic number when a pastor became a “mature pastor.”   He had reached the Age of Accountability in ministry.  30 was seen as the age when he passed from boyhood to manhood.   Or to put it in church language: passed from childhood to pastorhood.

Then I heard the real age of pastors was between 35 and 50.  This was seen as their “Golden Years,” the height of their energy, creativity, and ability.

50 started the downhill slide to the old folks home.  The man lost his energy.  His creativity went out the door.  And his ability…well, let’s just say his powers of memorization left him.   When I started looking to move from the previous church I served, some churches wrote me off because I was past the “Magic 50.”  I was approaching 53, a real downhill skier.  But the church I currently pastor was looking for someone older (translated: more mature) because it was such a young congregation in age and history (only one year).  So for me, age was a good factor.

I still feel I have years to give to the Lord and His church.  I still get up early.  I still love preaching without a pulpit and few notes.  I still love studying and reading.  I am not ready for the rocking chair just yet.  So I was pleasantly surprised when my brother Rob, who is 18 months younger than me, gave me a gift this past weekend of a plaque with a saying:

YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD TO CLIMB A NEW HILL, SET A NEW GOAL OR DREAM A NEW DREAM.

I have no clue who said it.  BUT.  I.  LOVE.  IT!!!  That sums up my philosophy toward ministry at this juncture of my life.  It is easy to look at us old duffers and write us off, but that would be a big, big mistake.  NO ONE is ever too old to push forward (we just have to do it a bit more carefully).  :)

Is there someone you look up to who is older?  Is there an older pastor who could use your encouragement?  Take a moment today to drop him a note or give him a call. You, and he, will be glad you did.

 

32 Comments so far ↓

  1. Tami Grandi says:

    Part of it is attributed to C.S. Lewis: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/cslewis119176.html

    :) it is a GREAT quote! As for the question- lots of people I look up to- guess I need to be sending some notes soon!

  2. Glynn says:

    I’m a year older, Bill, and have more new projects going than I can shake a stick at. (And happy belated birthday!)

  3. Daniel says:

    I liked this post. It warmed me up inside just a bit. Good stuff.

  4. Bill, there is a man where I work who is 90. He gets to work every morning and turns all of the copiers on. I’m not sure what he does other than let us buy stamps from him and give “kisses” (the Hershey kind) to the ladies. Before he started with us at age 74, he served in WWII, been a mortician, real estate developer, and owned his own insurance agency. What a life!!!

  5. When I was a youth, I thought I would fight age and beat it and show all those young whipper snappers that age didn’t matter. Rebellion?

    As a young adult I thought I would grow old with grace and charm and would likely sit in a rocker and young people would surely come by and love and respect my age and wisdoms. Settling?

    Now that I’m nearly an old fogy myself I find I am whatever fits the moment. I feel youthful one minute so I join into things from that angle. I feel a piece of wisdom popping up, I toss it out there. Living!

    I don’t think I will ever settle into one avenue.

    Your posts sound off a wide range also. Many of them are creative and bubbly, tempered with wisdom.

    • cycleguy says:

      Aaaah MS, you know exactly what I am talking about in the “stages” of life. :) I thank you for recognizing the range of my posts. I don’t want to settle down and be pigeon-holed as too old for dreaming. Thanks.

  6. I can see a lot of myself in your talk about how it’s easy to live life always waiting for something else. Just putting in the work now and hoping that in a few years something will change that will click. But although it’s not exactly what your post may have been intending to say, the lesson I took away was to focus on the now of today and to stop putting my hope in some future a few years off.

    • cycleguy says:

      Living in the now is good Loren. Too many live in the future and think it will be better. The foundation for the future is laid now. Well said.

  7. jeff says:

    My 83 yr. old Dad returned this past weekend from a mission trip to Nicaragua. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?

  8. Susan says:

    At our age, Bill, most of the people I looked up to no longer live on Planet Earth. One of my surrogate mothers is still living – she was and continues to be an incredible blessing.

    Ronald Reagan became governor at age 61.

    Sam Snead was 61 when he won his par 3 tournament.

    Ben Franklin was around 70 when he helped draft the Declaration of Independence.

    Socrates learned to play musical instruments at age 80.

    Grandma Moses began her painting career at age 80.

    Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of England when he was 65.

    Nelson Mandela is still hanging in there at 94.

    You’re just getting started. I’m sure you’ve heard this one: Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

    • cycleguy says:

      I had read about those people but, of course, forgot them. :) Thanks for the reminder though. Thanks to God I really do feel pretty good right now. Tomorrow may be different, but today is good. LOL

  9. Betty Draper says:

    LOVE SUSAN RELY…got to use that one.
    Good post brother.

  10. You’ve got quite the youthful edge if you ask me,Bill! Keep up the great work of leading God’s people and following His dreams for you. Awesome stuff.

  11. floyd says:

    I think the greatest things in God’s economy is done in our mature years of life. To discount someone due to age is the typical mistake of this society. People don’t want to hear the painful truth of wisdom that comes with age.

    Love your attitude and spirit. It proves to me that you’re calling is from our Father. Done in the flesh would only bring burn out at this stage. Good for you.

    I texted my old friend and pastor before I typed this. Thanks for the reminder. I haven’t talked to him in six months. God used you today, Bill. You probably already knew that, just wanted to communicate that truth as well. Thanks again for your heart.

    • cycleguy says:

      Maturity is so underrated by the young bucks. :) Thanks for the kind words Floyd. I am sooo glad you contacted your former friend and pastor. That is so cool. Thanks for the encouragement. I look forward to the day we get a chance to meet-here or there.

  12. I believe we can let God tell us when it’s time to move on or change directions. One thing’s for sure, we don’t have any right to completely “check out” in this life because of a certain age. Until His Kingdom is fully manifested and glory fully displayed, it’s all hands on deck! Whether 5 or 105, we can all be a blessing and contribute so much more than we realize. Good stuff, Bill! Thanks–love that quote too.

  13. cycleguy says:

    Hey all! The quote was made by C.S.Lewis. Thanks to Tami, my daughter, for the source. :)

  14. Jan says:

    This is a great post Bill and just shows what kind of person you are. I have never given age much thought….in my opinion one only gets better with age and your preaching has only gotten better with each passing year. This post was just touching to me. :)

  15. Jason says:

    Do you count as someone to look up to?

  16. Debbie says:

    A late happy birthday and a happy living for today too. No way is 60 old! There is a blogger who is 76 and has walked with the Lord for 54 years. She amazes me and I love it when she comments and posts. At 60, you know some things and they are things that the rest of us want to know too. God bless you as you just keep skiing!

  17. tcavey says:

    That is a great saying! Did I already tell you Happy B-day? If not, Happy belated!

    As long as there is breath in you, God has a purpose for you!
    We are NEVER too old or too young for God to use us.