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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


2010 and the senior years

By David W. Argue
Dec. 27, 2009

Talk about retirement among seniors lately is a bit subdued. With the economy in crisis, many seniors have had retirement plans change and are learning to live much more conservatively. But travel, scenic wonders, and sitting in the sun remain common, if more wistful, dreams.

Have you ever asked yourself if those goals really represent how these years are to be spent? Is there any difference at this stage of life for followers of Jesus? If you have lived a life for others, and under the compulsion of the gospel, it feels awkward to think that the last portion of life is now all about “me.”

“I’ve earned it, so now I’ll spend it”? “I’ve worked hard, so now I’ll travel endlessly and perpetually pursue ‘fun’ ”? 


Isn’t this stage of life supposed to be a preparation for our forever time in heaven? With eternity in focus, is self-service really the way we are supposed to spend the last 20 years of life here on earth?


Sifting through the Scriptures, I find the bios of a whole set of seniors that offer a huge and meaningful contrast to our oft-popular notions. Their “retirement plan” was so terrific that God had it included in the timeless pages of His written Word.

For a God-shaped 2010, and a final retirement package that cannot be beat, why not take a closer look at these biblical seniors?


Do the Moses thing

At the “perfect” age of 120, he caught a new vision of the promises of God, did some of his best teaching, stood as strong as ever in his faith and left a legacy of commissioned and coached leadership … and he was known to walk “with a spring in his step.” (Check it out in Deuteronomy 34, The Message.) And when he died, they mourned for him for 30 days. Hmmm …

So, for the months ahead, how about asking God to help you grow in faith beyond anything you have known yet. How about offering to coach young leaders in things you have found to be effective? How about taking prayer walks regularly in your community, and as you do, asking God to help you “look over” your land in faith?


Do the Abraham thing

He never shifted course. He lived as a man of great faith, and that is the way he walked in the growing twilight of his life. Just to prove that faith to the ages, the Lord allowed a great time of testing into his life toward the very end of it, and he passed (again) with flying colors. Hebrews 11 says a key to all of this was that he kept bringing his mind back to a focus on eternity … and “the city.”

So, for the months ahead, how about reading the Scriptures with a special focus on heaven and eternity? How about taking some “Promised Land” steps in faith, rather than pulling into familiar territory? And if you face some serious tests, maybe it is time to soak in Abraham’s life and example.


Do the Anna thing

Dateline: “A very old woman, a widow for 84 years” has become a fixture at the house of God, constantly worshipping and in prayer. Thus she finds herself “happening” to be in just the right place at just the right time and so full of the Spirit that she, without any noted pause, has words to speak over the newly born Christ, words that strengthen the faith of many … even to this day. A woman who had been a widow for 84 years impacted the world for the next 2,000 years.

Why not ask God to give you words for people that will give life and strength to them? I still remember Grandma Blackstock. Missionaries visiting the church I attended as a youngster asked to meet her before anyone else. The reason: They wanted to meet personally the little lady who had written them often with words that changed their faith and effectiveness in far-flung places in the world. She was “stuck” in a little apartment, with a ministry that spanned the planet.


Do the Joseph thing

As his life is in the final season, he makes sure that his family is healed and positively focused. He takes the leadership his age makes possible to be a messenger of grace and peace. (See Genesis 50.)

Family in tatters? Significant hurts or struggles? Why not craft a plan to draw your family together this coming year and bless them generously? Lead the way in setting aside old offenses or rifts. Take the initiative in expressing grace and forgiveness. Leave a legacy of faith that will fuel their footsteps. Joseph’s “retirement” lasted till 110 and showed greatness to the very end. 


Most of all, do the ?Jesus thing

For “he never lost sight of where he was headed — that exhilarating finish in and with God” (Hebrews 12:2, The Message). 

In the year before us, let’s not retire to self, but press firmly on the accelerator of life, serving with joy, walking with a spring in our step … the kind that comes with purpose when we do the Bible things.


DAVID W. ARGUE leads church development and HonorBound for the Rocky Mountain District Council.

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