As sixty years of age disappears in my review mirror, I remember when I was in my teens and thought sixty was sooooo old. When the newspaper came, grandparents and other relatives seemed to check the obituaries first and plan their schedules over which viewings to attend. In Rhode Island, where I come from, they were called wakes in the Irish tradition.
But one nagging thought still rises. It’s like Paul’s thorn in the flesh – the messenger from Satan sent to torment him. Satan’s thought to me: you’re too old to start a new career, especially one as challenging as writing.
For those of you in this situation, or about to enter it—and we know who you are—take hope. God isn’t through with you yet. As McNair Wilson once said, “If you don’t do you, God’s creation goes unfinished.” If you’re still with us, it’s because God has more for you to do.
If you have a stirring in your spirit to do something new as you reach the nadir of your working career, take heart. That stirring is from God. He’s calling you into the next phase, the next season, of His plan for you. Remember, Moses was eighty when God sent him back to Egypt to lead his people to the Promised Land. And, without GPS, it took another forty years to get there. But I digress.
I’ve been in my writing career full time for two years now. Two years of highs and lows, of fear and doubt, of success, of new doors opening and new relationships developing. Two years of growing as a writer, as a person, and, most importantly, as a Christian. Two years of energy and excitement as He opens more doors and reveals more of what He has for me.
So as you approach your sixties and retirement (and, if you haven’t, you soon will), embrace them as new opportunities to learn and grow and serve; as new opportunities to explore what’s on your heart. Whether it’s to write, to start your own business, to explore and travel, to go into missions. Whatever it is—go for it!
Allow me to share a scripture that ministers to me every day. It’s Psalm 92:12-14 NLT (emphasis added).
The godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house.
They flourish in the courts of our God.
Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
They will remain vital and green.