I’m blogging today (Friday) on the occasion of my 61st birthday. I was amazed this week to hear an interesting news story about the new mayor of Tinton Falls. This older gentleman was dissatisfied with the direction he saw his town going, so he decided to run for mayor. He beat the streets and made many phone calls which resulted in this 93-year-old man winning the election as mayor of Tinton Falls. We live in a culture that very much embraces youth and youthful exuberance. But I’m thankful that Scripture doesn’t include an age of retirement. In fact, some of God’s choices servants were used well past what we consider the acceptable age of retirement. Moses was 80 when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt. Abraham was 100 years old when he fathered Isaac. Caleb was 85 years old when he said to Joshua, “Give me that mountain over there, the property I always wanted, ever since we first visited Canaan as spies 45 years ago”. He promptly proceeded to take that mountain. I believe God can use us well past the age of what is considered acceptable retirement in the United States. Over and over again God blesses older saints. I think of Simeon and Anna coming in when the baby Jesus was being dedicated in Luke 2 and having the greatest blessing in their lives occur in holding the baby Jesus.
In my life, I don’t ever want to get to a point where not excited about the privilege and honor that God has entrusted to me to represent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to age gracefully, but not quietly. I want to continue to declare the splendors and majesty of my great God and Savior, who has redeemed my life from a world of sinfulness and brokenness. I believe it’s very important to stay active. Towards this end, I worked out regularly at the gym five or six mornings a week. The most important exercise I hope to practice in 2018 is “pushing aways.” “Push aways” are pushing away from the table without having seconds and pushing away from snacking between meals, that’s the most important exercise to practice this year. But I’m afraid it’s going to have to wait until after my birthday weekend ends. There always are excuses not to start doing what we need to do.
It’s very important to continue to feed my soul and grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Maybe some of my readers have arrived the state of perfect spiritual maturity, but I sure haven’t. This year I added Facebook to my contact network. Maybe it was a little overdue, but it’s been interesting to stay in touch with people that I hadn’t been in contact with for a very long time. I never did get a twitter account. It seems to me that Twitter has added to the shallowness and superficiality of our society and culture. For people to respond with a twitter blast to some insult or outrage is not very mature. When we are offended by people Jesus gave us instruction, and that does not include a twitter blast. Jesus said, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over,” (Matthew 18:15 NIV). I think very little conflict ever gets resolved by responding to the first impulse of anger and therefore it’s much wiser to think about our response and take time to respond in a rational and proper manner to the parties involved. It should be distressful to all of us that there are very little discourse and discussion in these days. We live in a society where there are very little introspection and contemplation. The question used to be asked 20 years ago, “What would Jesus do?” I’m pretty certain Jesus wouldn’t use a twitter account to blast his enemies. In fact, He’s the one that’s instructed us, “to love our enemies and to do good to those who despitefully use us.” That certainly isn’t a politically correct response today, even in many Christian circles. I think even the church in many ways has lost what it means to be salt and light.
I hope to spend whatever years the Lord has left for me seeking to be salt and light in a tasteless and dark world. I’m grateful for the many greetings I have received on the occasion of my birthday, and I hope that my thoughts can help you to be a little more introspective before responding to the many discouraging things we hear in our world today. Right now, I’m very thankful for modern heating and indoor plumbing. I’m on my way to my birthday dinner, where I probably won’t be practicing any “push aways.” I’ll start that on Monday. SURE!
In Christ’s Love,