By Mike Riley

Many of the younger generation believe that getting older means becoming obsolete. However, it can mean serving, growing, and maturing in the Lord’s service to the end of our days (cf. Philippians 3:12-15; 2 Timothy 4:7). T.S. Eliot once stated: “Old men ought to be explorers,” to which this writer is in complete agreement.

Contemplating the idling away of our last years, is to rob God and ourselves of what could be the best years of our lives and to deprive the church of talents God has given to enrich it (Matthew 25:14-15; cf. Romans 12:4-8; Ephesians 4:11-15). Brethren, there is still service to be rendered and there are victories yet to be won (cf. Joshua 14:5-15).

Some older folks may not have the energy or inclination for leadership, but they are an invaluable asset to the next generation of leaders. An elderly, but dedicated and involved Christian, was once asked what he would do if he knew he had only a short time to live. He responded:

I’ll be teaching others the saving gospel of Christ till the moment that I am called to yield my spirit back to Him that gave it.” (cf. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7).

What a great attitude and Christian commitment! (1 Thessalonians 2:1-4 KJV; cf. 1 Timothy 6:20 KJV; Titus 1:1-3 KJV)

The Psalmist also desired to pass along his understanding of the Lord to others, and he prayed:

When I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation” (Psalm 71:18).

In our later years, we too should remain open to being used by God for enriching the spiritual lives of future generations through the teaching of His word (Psalm 78:1-7; cf. 2 Timothy 2:1-2; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16).

The longer we live, the more that we know,
Old age is the time for wisdom to show;
Who knows how much good some word we might say
Could do for the leaders of some future day.