June 26, 2017

It’s Monday once again and I sit here preparing for the third funeral in the last week. As much as we don’t like funerals because of the fact that it means we have to say goodbye to someone we love, my prayer is always that it will be a time to reflect on our own destiny and relationship with God. Nothing gets your attention quite like the grief we experience in that moment. But many people simply try to numb the pain rather than to use that pain to remind them that their day is coming as well. Let me encourage you today to make sure you are not only prepared for eternity but that you are living each day to the fullest.
Over the weekend, in between funerals and working on my fence again (more on that next week . . . if I get it finished), I watched a show about aging called “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.” It’s a funny documentary by Carl Reiner and basically it focuses on people over 90 years of age. There are many famous people in their 90’s featured including Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks and Norman Lear and Dick Van Dyke and Kirk Douglas and on it goes. There are inspiring stories as well. One story was about a woman who was 100 years old and she still runs in races. Her flexibility is probably better than mine. At the age of 67, within a space of less than 3 years, both of her sons were murdered. She basically sat down and gave up on life. Her daughter convinced her to get up and get going. They began to run together and she has kept going ever since. She said she eats to fuel her body and not for taste. And one line she said stuck with me. She said, “Don’t do what you want to do, Do what you need to do.” I like that. She is an example of what is possible as we grow older.

Another interesting story was the one about Dick Van Dyke. If you’re my age you know Dick from the “Dick Van Dyke Show” and from “Mary Poppins” and more. Here is a guy 90 years old who acts like he is about 18, or less. He has refused to grow up and just has a smile on his face at all times. He loves life and seems to enjoy every moment. He is writing a book about being 90 and advice on aging. He said it might be a short book because he could sum it up in two words, “Keep Moving.” That’s great advice as well. I have personally seen so many people retire and sit down and relax and . . . die. Those who live longer are filled with purpose and passion and they keep moving. Dick is still going strong and recently married a woman half his age. Ladies, imagine marrying a 90 year old man. But Dick is pretty unique and seems like a fun guy to be around.

Carl Reiner, at age 94, is working on his SIXTH book since he turned 90! He loves to sit and write and he obviously has a gift for it. He stays productive. There were others who were highlighted, all in their 90’s. One man who is an amazing portrait artist. Another who is still considered the greatest harmonica player in the world. The stories are inspiring and encouraging. Let me be an encouragement to you today. God has you here on this earth for a reason. Follow your passion and seek out God’s purpose for you. Don’t ever give up. Don’t ever sit down and stop moving. Keep your mind busy. Keep your body moving. Find a reason to wake up every morning! It doesn’t matter whether you are 24 or 94.

Norman Lear talked how when he talked to someone in their 60’s he became that age and the same for someone in their 20’s and every age in between. Yes, your body may slow you down but don’t let your age keep you from doing what God wants. Don’t let others tell you that you are too old or too young. With God’s help you can do the impossible!

An aging expert talked about how in life 40% is based on genetics and about 15% is just random things that happen to us. But about 40% of our lives are the choices we make. You can make good choices. It requires discipline but life is worth it. It is too precious to just give away years of your life because you made bad choices. Don’t rob your family of those years. Don’t rob God from what He wants from your life. And don’t rob yourself of living a life well.
What a blessing the Benefit Concert was last night! It was great to see many faces and friends that I haven’t seen in awhile. The music was fun but the fellowship was even better.
Pray for our Children and Sponsors as they leave this Wednesday for Camp!!