You’re Never Too Old

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Encouragement, Faith, Fear/Doubt, Friends of ACFW, writing 3 Comments

by Henry McLaughlin

“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 2015, 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!”

Being old 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 this quote from C. S. Lewis and ask God, “Lord, what would you have me do?”

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Henry McLaughlin’s debut novel, Journey to Riverbend, won the 2009 Operation First Novel contest. He serves as Associate Director of Story Help Groups (formerly North Texas Christian Writers). Besides writing fiction, Henry edits novels, leads critique groups, and teaches at conferences and workshops. He enjoys mentoring and coaching individual writers.

 

Comments 3

  1. You and are like two peas in a pod, and your words ring so true. My retirement has been as rewarding as my 36 years of teaching. I was 73 when my dream came true and I signed my first contract for a series of novels. Now, at 84, I’m still busy writing, and if the Lord wants me to complete the stories I have jotted down to organize and write, I’ll be around a while longer.

    What a blessing it is to be an encourager to new writers of any age, but especially the older ones. Yes, we’re never to old to dream. Thanks for the encouraging word. May it bless many readers today.

  2. I agree, Henry, we are never too old to dream new dreams or pursue new goals. I’m not as spry as I used to be either, but I’m not ready to sit back in a rocking chair and wait for time to pass. I like being busy and I love writing. Thanks for sharing.

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