Thursday, July 22, 2021

You Are Never Too Old


by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

“You are never too old to set another goal or to 
dream a new dream.” C. S. Lewis

Many times, I’ve met someone who has retired, and they sit like a gnome in the garden, gathering dirt and bugs and mold. They’re not thrilled, but don’t seem to have a clue what to do about it.

That isn’t what God wants for us. Yes, we’ve worked hard all our lives and we’ve earned the reward of being able to sit back and take it easy. For many of us, however, the reward seems fragile because our financial resources don’t allow us to live as we dreamed. But that’s for another blog.

Taking it easy doesn’t have to mean we turn into a vegetable, like a couch potato. We still have so much to give to our family, our church, our community.

We can still set new goals or dream new dreams. For example, I retired from my first job in 1999 and immediately set out for my next dream, working for a Christian ministry. That happened in early 2000 and lasted until 2010. While I was doing this, I was also writing. Writing became my third full-time career in 2010.

But God isn’t through with me. In the early 2010s, he birthed a new dream. He led my wife and me to a new church and the opportunity to serve in the stewardship ministry. The ideal part of this dream is it’s as a volunteer. Which means I’m not dependent on it for a paycheck or a livelihood. I serve because I want to serve.

Recently, I met a man who wanted to know what retirement was like. I told him retirement is whatever you want it to be. You can do nothing, or you can do something. It’s your choice.

Recently, I’ve felt my body changing. It’s not as spry as it used to be. It gets aches and pains it didn’t use to get. My stamina isn’t what it used to be.

Do you get these sensations sometimes?

I said to my wife, “I’m not old enough to be experiencing this junk. Old people feel like this.” Then I looked in the mirror and my reflection said, “You are old. Get used to it and adapt to the new you.” Inside a still small voice said, “I still have things for you to do for the Kingdom. So get over it!”

But that doesn’t mean I have to stop dreaming dreams or setting goals. As long as I have breath in my body, God can use me. He can plant new desires in my heart and provide the means to achieve them.

I can be a writer, a stewardship volunteer, a better husband and father, a friend, a neighbor. I can be what I dream to be, and I can achieve goals because I have my focus on my future and my God.

Take some time this week. Meditate on the above quote from C. S. Lewis and ask God, “Lord, what would you have me do?”

TWEETABLE

Henry’s debut novel, Journey to Riverbend, won the 2009 Operation First Novel contest.

Henry edits novels, leads critique groups, and teaches at conferences and workshops. He enjoys mentoring and coaching individual writers.

Connect with Henry on his BLOGTWITTER and FACEBOOK.

27 comments:

  1. Love this! At 66, I see the world opening to me. My service, opportunities in honoring others, and writing are all taking a new turn. I'm experiencing my best life ever.

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  2. At 77, I'm working on my third book. The first was published when I was 75. God has also opened a door to share stories and new story-contributors with Our American Stories. Amazed and humbled.

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    1. Even more awesome is that last week Our American Stories gave me a 2021 Great American Storyteller Award and named the first prize Our Iowa Stories Award for me for years to come! I had no idea that having fun with my small efforts were making such an impact through radio stations across the nations.

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  3. I just turned 70. My mom lived to be 97 so I am still middle age. Thanks for sharing this great post!

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  4. That quote from C.S. Lewis is one of my longtime favorites. There are so many ways we can serve during every stage of life. I still have quite a few years before retirement but stories like yours remind me that opportunities are always waiting for me to find. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  5. Henry, you're talking my language! As much as I loved everything about my life and career pre-retirement, I love this experience of co-piloting (God is my pilot) my writing destiny even more. My husband and I are busier than ever (who would have thought?) and thrilled with it. Age is a number, not a definition.

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    1. Amen, Kay. Glad to read your enthusiasm. Blessinhs

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    2. Henry McLaughlinJuly 23, 2021 at 5:48 PM

      Amen, Kay. Glad to read your enthusiasm. Blessings

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    3. Amen, Kay. Glad to read your enthusiasm. May all your writing be blessed.

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  6. This is where I am. And I feel positive I can still make a difference for the Lord. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I agree, Jarm. If we're breathing, we can still do wwhat God has called us to do.

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  7. I love this! My experience kinda parallels your own. I'm going to add that C.S. Lewis quote to, well, my collection of C.S. Lewis Quotes. Thanks for this important and inspiring message.

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  8. AMEN! I wrote and had 14 books released after I turned 69...

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  9. I forgot to add that I'm working on #15 with two more in the queue...

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  10. What great encouragement for all us old folks! Thanks

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  11. Thanks for sharing this. I am almost 69 and I retired 2 years ago. Retirement has given me the opportunity to write devotions, a dream I have had for years. I am also able to volunteer at church, to have long conversations with friends, and to spend more time in God’s word. When I wake up in the morning I never struggle about finding something to do. Instead, I pray for guidance about what to do first! I am thankful that God has good plans for us in all stages of life.

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  12. Love this post, especially this comment your spoke, "retirement is whatever you want it to be. You can do nothing, or you can do something. It’s your choice."

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