The Older I Get…

The last month or so I have had a number of issues come up that have reminded me of the eventuality, and reality, of growing older. For starters, I have heard of at least two new churches that are starting  – with pastors in their thirties. While this is not unusual in itself, there is also a transition that will be occurring at our own home church – God willing – as the son of our founding pastor will enter a pastoral residency with the ultimate goal of assuming the duties of the senior pastor role in 5 years. While I have become used to the “old guard” during the 20 years or so that we have attended this church – all under the leadership of the founding pastor – the new generation coming up through the ranks is getting ready to take their turn at the helm of many leadership positions. This is happening in the church as well as in the corporate world.

It doesn’t seem that many years ago that I was the young guy surrounded by people who were much older and wiser than I. Gradually, almost imperceptibly, the dynamics of the room changed and today, more times than not, I am one of the elders in the room – giving counsel and advice to the next generation of leaders coming up through the ranks. And most of the time I derive great pleasure from mentoring those who will soon be leading the charge.

After all, there is something very rewarding about pouring your life into younger people. Most of us had the benefit of others helping us ascend in authority and responsibly as we were trying to figure out our careers and now is the time that we are passing the baton. It seems that in the blink of an eye our careers are more behind us than in front of us and I am trying to get used to that reality.

In all honesty, there are days that I am ready to begin retirement but most of the time I believe that I have a number of good years left in me. One thing is for sure – I don’t want to end up retired all of a sudden – like a bug hitting a windshield. I would like to ease into it – filling my time with other things as my workload in the corporate environment slows down. But let’s face it – I do love it so…

We are told in the Bible that the Levite men were to work in the temple from age 30 until age 50. Before the official start of their work lives, they were in training and being mentored by those who were older and wiser. Then, after 20 years of service, the priests were taken out of the rotation of assignments in the temple. But nowhere in the Bible does it speak to the idea of retirement. We realize that as priests fulfilled their religious obligations, they probably poured their lives into those young men coming up into positions of authority.

Our verse for tonight highlights the call for men to report for duty at the temple. We are told, in Num. 4:21-23, “The LORD said to Moses, “Take a census also of the Gershonites by their families and clans. Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the Tent of Meeting.” My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to give our best effort for Him and that includes helping others along the path. My prayer is that whatever work you do, you will commit to make that work count in the name of the Father. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

 
 
 
 

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