“You’re never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis
Seeing that quote as a footnote in a friend’s email made me smile. For the past few months, I’d been feeling pretty creaky. And not just in my cartilage-depleted knees. With a milestone birthday approaching, I was really feeling my age. Or was I?
Milestone birthdays have a way of doing that – making you feel old. But when I stopped to evaluate the big picture, I had a realization. I might look old, but I sure don’t feel old. I’m doing more now than I’ve ever done.
Six years ago, when my kids started college, I started writing. I joined a writers’ group, went to a few conferences, and put myself to the task of learning the craft and business of writing. With a few published articles under my belt, I’m self-publishing a children’s story this month, and working on two proposals for traditionally published books.
Two years ago, I co-founded Justice Network, a human trafficking awareness organization. After hearing more about the issue, having a life-changing nightmare, and feeling convicted to do something, I reached out to a friend, and our collaboration of two grew into a small but mighty group that has had a global impact.
No one is more surprised than me at these turns of events. I fully planned to relax and have a laid back empty-nester season of life, but God had other plans.
I’m not unique. There’s a whole garden of late-bloomers. <<Click To Tweet
At 65 years old, Harlan David (Colonel) Sanders faced a failing business due to the construction of Interstate 75 which diverted traffic away from the service station where he sold his not-yet-famous chicken. Not to be deterred, he took his recipe on the road, walking long miles, being rejected 1009 times before finally succeeding in the franchise we know and love as Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Peter Roget proved it’s never too late to create a new invention, such as the Thesaurus. Suffering from OCD since childhood, he often made random lists to calm himself. At 73, he started the project of creating a list of synonymous words. Roget’s Thesaurus has never been out of print since its initial appearance in 1852.
Grandma Moses switched to painting from embroidery at age 75 due to painful arthritis. After her paintings were discovered in a drugstore window, a NY gallery show led to worldwide fame. She created over 3600 paintings, continuing her art until close to her death at age 101.
On June 28, 2015, Stanislaw Kowalski became the world’s oldest athlete, competing in track and field events at 105 years of age, and necessitating the creation of a new age division for World Masters Athletics.
You don’t have to be a well-known achiever to live with distinction. <<Click to Tweet
My hero in the faith, Ida Anderson, was a dear friend and someone most people would overlook. But I could create a list as long as Roget’s of her many virtues and the unnoticed kindnesses she did for people. When she got too old and infirmed to go out, she started a prayer ministry. Wanting to be an active servant of the Lord, she requested that before people drop off clothing donations to charity, they bring them to her so she could wash them.
In the final letter of his life, the apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy, “As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to His appearing.” 2 Tim. 4:6-8
That prize is for all of us, no matter how old we are. To finish our race well and eagerly look forward to His appearing, we must continue with what He calls us to at every stage of life.