It’s been an interesting time in life. Many of my friends and mentors are much older than myself and they are dying. First, just a few years ago my pastor while I was a teenager, died. He was a great man of faith that stayed faithful till he was 86 traveling and preaching and mentoring and blessing. Just did not wake up one morning, but he knew he was going.
Then a man who lived here for years. He served on our staff and in the seminary. He was very opinionated. He was passionate about some things. He lived a life of faith. He power prayed every day, walking around, praying out loud and praying with authority. He died about 6 months ago at 72.
Then my good friend in Florida, now 76, struggling with the effects of having 2/3rds of his stomach removed due to cancer. He’s not recovering very well. He has so much to say about life and ministry, having seem almost everything. We’ve had some wonderful journeys together.
Then just 2 months back, a Bible teacher, traveling the world, now 81, just did not show up for his Sunday night appointment in San Francisco. His daughter did not really find him the next day. There he lay but he was gone.
Now this week, an old friend of 80 is gone. I’ve got 2 left, one is 80 and the other 84.
I guess I need some younger friends.
None of these men really wanted to retire or quit. None were workaholics as we understand it but all were driven by passion. Passion knows no age, color or race. It is still the most powerful force for change in the world and when motivated by love for people it never quits. All of these were and are forward looking people.
All these old friends are 20 years or more older than I am. Now a generation looks at me and they are 20 years behind me. I wonder what the next 20 will be like?
It must be like that, we look forward. We must move on. You have to forgive yourself and everyone who causes you pain and you have to move forward. You really have to forgive on a core level so that life and experience does not effect you on a subconscious level. I’ve met many who say, “I’ve forgiven”, but their actions reveal a caution, a hesitation a sore spot, self protection and reserve. They have not let it go. They are afraid of a repeat. To finish well at 80+ you can’t carry any baggage. You must let it all go, even the good. You learn from everything and everyone and you remain forward looking like Paul who said, forgetting the things that are behind, I press on towards the mark…. or like Hebrews 11 finishes, “These all died in faith….”The life we live here in God never ends, it only gets better.. What a thought!