Saturday, June 30, 2007

Becoming Old and Gray—What will your legacy be?

Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come. Psalm 71:18

I’ve been gray since my mid-thirties. It has been said that my mother turned gray in her mid-thirties; so did my older sister but getting older has been a different thing.

Today I will attend the 60th birthday party for, Chuck, my same-age, life-long friend and cousin. Chuck is a western Minnesota Dutch farmer with a free-wheeling sense of humor and buoyant attitude towards life. He has had a kidney transplant and battles skin cancer with “this is part of life” attitude.

But we’re getting old, or should I say older. I don’t regret “getting older”, it’s part of life but what concerns me is how quickly I got here—to sixty, I mean. It seems like yesterday I was in the military; getting married 36 years ago seems only a short time ago; and the birth of our children still “fresh” in my memory in many ways. Like they say, “time flies when you’re having fun.”

At sixty, I believe most of the world views us as a “has been”. That ok, I don’t have anything more to prove but it’s definitely not time to give up, whine and complain about getting old, and in “horseman terms” complacently wait for the final long trip to the glue factory.

The Lord has called us to be His witnesses all the days of our lives. Even when I am old and gray” – Psalm 71:18. Our prayer should be that God would not forsake us. Our side of this picture is that we are to declare to the next generation God’s power and might. If I am 60, 70, 80 or 90, I have a job to do: “declare God’s power to the next generation, God’s might to all who are to come.” I believe what He is saying is leave a legacy; a legacy of God’s love and faithfulness demonstrated by His power and might.

As I look back over my sixty years of life, I look with amazement how God has worked. He did things I did not understand; He did things that looked like failure and tragedy and turned them into good…things too wonderful for me to fully comprehend.

What will our next generation say about us? He sure was a “good fella” or will they declare and share the stories of the work of God’s sovereign hand in our lives. Will the Lord be lifted up or will they just refer to us as “another good fella”? What stories will they tell—good fella stories or stories of a mighty and powerful God’s work in our lives? What will your legacy be?

Lord, even when I’m old, may I declare Your power and might. May I always be found faithful. Come Lord Jesus, come. Amen.

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