As a younger man (which I am no longer), I saw a dynamic which concerned me greatly then and still concerns me today. I had not been a Christian long when I began seeing men who were then my age now developing a very unhealthy attitude. They had subscribed to the train of thought of "I have put in my time. I have worked hard all my life and now am very comfortable. I intend to enjoy life." Well, so far, not too dangerous a set of thoughts, but wait. They would go from there as say, not verbally, mind you, but with every fiber of their being, would say, "I have served God faithfully and now it's time for the younger generation to step up and do their fair share. They have the energy and and mine is waining so I am going to sit back and relax."
Those desires are, not only unbiblical, they are downright dangerous. Dangerous how, Dwight? Glad you asked. One of my favorite devotion books has become "The Complete Green Letters" by Miles Stanford recommended by by friend from Argentina, Will Herndon. In the chapter entitled "Process of Discipleship," Stanford says,
"So many seek to settle for this stage; saved with heaven assured-plus a pacifying measure of
Christian respectablility, at least in church circles. Here we have the believer as a normal kernel of
wheat containing life inside a more or less shiny golden covering, in fellowship high up on the stalk
with similar kernels of wheat. This is but a stage, not the goal. And, like middle age, this can be a
dangerous stage: one of seeking a 'much deserved' rest: of basking aimlessly in the fellowship of
meetings, classes, etc.; of ignoring or forgetting the struggles and growing pains of the tiny green
blades down at one's feet, and expecting and exhorting them to shape up and mature without delay."
My heart aches for those who are missing so much. It is true that the physical body cannot do at 60 or even 50 what it could at 30 or even 40. However, we can do what we can do. One of my heroes in the faith is Harry Piland. Harry was the director of the Sunday School department at the Baptist Sunday School Board (now LifeWay) when I first became involved in Sunday School work. Not only at 70 did Harry fuel a fire in my heart for Christian education but he set an example for us all in his last years.
After Harry retired from the Sunday School Board, he began serving as minister of education at churches. This continued until brain cancer ended his life and took him to Glory. Oh, how my desire is that my last years be my best years! And I hope it's yours too.