Coffee for Your Heart
"The Myth of Being 'Over the Hill'"
Grandpa Hollie and I
In the great race of life, there are some Christ followers who stand out from all the rest. I call them the resilient ones. The further they run, the stronger they get.
--Gordon MacDonald, A Resilient Life
A Resilient Life by Gordon MacDonald has been a friend to my heart for over a decade. I first picked up a copy from my Grandpa's bookstore. And the other night I found myself returning to it again. Perhaps because Gordon talks about things my Grandpa used to share with me before he went to be with Jesus--like finishing well, loving others and being faithful in the daily, little things.
My Grandpa also showed me being 'over the hill' is just a myth. In the ways that matter most, he was still going strong at ninety three. When I look at Scripture, I see that pattern too...
Here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then --Caleb (Joshua 14:11).
They go from strength to strength until each appears before God --Sons of Korah (Psalm 84:7).
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day --Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Our culture has sold us a lie. It tells us we peak in middle age. But I don't see that reflected anywhere in God's Word. Moses was eighty when God called him from the burning bush. Sarah was ninety when the promised Isaac was born. Anna was eighty-four when God let her be one of the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
Gordon MacDonald insists that we must be prepared for our greatest contribution to the Kingdom to happen in the second half of life. Rather than being 'over the hill' our journey toward Jesus is to be one steady, faithful, continual, mysteriously glorious climb.
We're not to coast.
We're not to count ourselves out.
We're not to compare now to then.
Instead we're to press on and always prepare for whatever God has next for us.
If you're still in your first half of life then make choices now that will help put you in a position to finish strong. And if you're in the second half of life then realize God is not done with you. In fact, He may just be getting started. You are needed, valued and you have more to offer than ever before.
The most important steps of any race are not at the starting line. They are at the finish. Anyone can begin strong. Only champions can stay strong for as long as it takes.
Because here's the key: only God gets to decide when we're done. Until then, we are to run and run and run. He will train us. And He will sustain us. As long as we're still on earth, our race is not complete. It's not about being 'over the hill' but instead being in the center of His will.
The God my Grandpa followed all the way home, the Savior Gordon MacDonald still pursues, the One who plans all of our paths --offers this hope with every step, every day, every age: the best is yet to be.