I once saw a birthday card that began its greeting with “Everything I love in life is illegal, immoral, or fattening.”
December 18, 2019
At 70 years old I can still run as fast as I did when I was 17. The only difference is that I can’t breathe afterwards. That’s not a good thing. A few other downsides of aging are an ever-plentiful harvest of ear-hair that reaches out to scrape door posts, and of course, those good old tumbleweed eyebrows.
When many my age are being taken for a slow walk around the block by their dog, I get to take my canine twice a day to a local college. We both wear sunglasses and that means that I’m continually surrounded by wide-eyed students, asking if they can pet my dog. Of course they can, and that little pat on his head gives me an inroad to interview them on-camera. That’s when we talk about the elephant in the room. That’s when I get to ask them a question they don’t even ask themselves because it’s so scary. Do they fear death? That elephant is stomping on everyone—and very few talk about it. Well, we talk about it. We also talk about what we can do to avoid the elephant—because of what God did through the cross. The result is that our Living Waters YouTube channel has exploded to over 97,000,000 views.
“Let me tell you what my aunt said when she turned 98. She said that she still felt like a teenager. She felt like that because she was an ageless soul, trapped in an aged body. I feel the same.”
Before I tell you the good thing about turning 70, let me tell you what my aunt said when she turned 98. She said that she still felt like a teenager. She felt like that because she was an ageless soul, trapped in an aged body. I feel the same. The 17-year-old is still in there.
Earlier this year, I had a health crisis. Something half the size of an overweight ant—a tiny “impacted” kidney stone put me on a surgeon’s table four times. Being stoned taught me that I could (without any effort) achieve new heights of pain. And that made me really appreciate not being in pain. It also made me think more of the pains of Hell awaiting the ungodly. That thought set me on fire afresh to reach the unsaved with the gospel.
The short time of being restricted by a health problem made me appreciate that I can go to the college and film. The reason I do it twice almost every day (even when I don’t feel like going) is because I can. I have an opportunity to make the last sprint of my life count, and I’m going to do just that. As long as I can (by the grace of God) I’m going to keep that 17-year-old coming through. Though the outward man is perishing, the teenager is being renewed day by day.
The Mid-life Crisis
Looking back on my 70 years, I realize that I didn’t go through a “mid-life crisis.” That’s the panic that comes when human beings realize their mortality. I missed it because I couldn’t figure when I was at mid-life (you need to know the end to know the middle).
It looks like I’m also going to avoid an “end-life crisis.” The Christian need not stress about death. Jesus dealt with that when he removed the sickle from the hand of the Grim Reaper. I came into this life with nothing, and I will leave with my hand in the hand of Jesus. There’s no crisis. When I die, you might like to say what I say when a Christian dies: “It was nothing serious.” Because it isn’t.
It seems common to have our whole life flash before our eyes just before we die. I’m having mine now. In my personal flashback I’m humbled that Almighty God uses talentless little nobody’s from nowhere—with nothing but a love for his Creator, to help to fulfill His will.
“Here now is that one good thing about getting old. You get to watch old movies again for the first time.”
I think back to the first tract I ever printed, way back in 1974 on an archaic hand-cranking printing contraption, and how God increased that side of our ministry with hundreds of millions of tracts having been distributed by the faithful. I also think back to the wonderful day that Kirk Cameron called me and wanted to combine ministries. I think of how our television program is now in its fifth season and airs in every country of the world. I think about my first book, how others followed, and how God is graciously using them to touch lives.
These 70 years certainly have gone by quickly. But they’ve been a great joy. I have a wonderful wife whose tireless behind-the-scenes work has caused our ministry to grow greatly over the years. I have three marvelous kids with children of their own, a crazy dog that constantly makes me laugh, and a faithful and godly staff. I also have the added bonus of eternal life given to me by the lover of my soul. What more could a man want?
Here now is that one good thing about getting old. You get to watch old movies again for the first time.
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