Over the Hill? Not Yet!

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.

Now I’m their age, and sixty doesn’t feel very old. I actually feel as good as I did when I turned forty. And I don’t read the obits, either.

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.



11 Responses to Over the Hill? Not Yet!

  1. Mary DiCicco October 31, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Great word Henry – I TOTALLY agree!!!

  2. Connie Leonard October 31, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    I’m sixty and may have physical aches and pains, but spiritually and emotionally, I feel the best is yet to come.

  3. Henry October 31, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Amen, Connie. Each day brings new adventures in Him.

  4. Henry October 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Thank you, Mary.

  5. DiAne Gates October 31, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    Henry, sixty is a distant memory for me. Like you, I am a late bloomer. Could it be because God had to teach me things that I refused to learn early in life? Don’t know. Just know I’m grateful to be here today. Knowing that God will complete His good work in me.

    I stand amazed to walk through doors I never dreamed possible. Years and years ago I began to pray Jabez’ prayer and now see how God is answering that prayer for me. What an awesome God.


  6. Henry October 31, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    A late bloomer, huh? I remember my pastor telling me that if I was going to miss God it was better to be behind him than ahead of him. God has the infinite patience to wait for me to catch up to him. And I have seen this in every step of his plan for me.
    You’re so right — he is an awesome God.

  7. Karen October 31, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    My dad told me life begins at forty, so that must mean sixty is more of a half way mark. (o:

    Thanks for the post.

  8. Henry November 1, 2012 at 2:21 am #

    Thanks, Karen.
    The Bible says we can live to 120. I figure I’m just hitting middle age.

  9. Julie Marx November 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    I’m searching for the “Like” button. . .

  10. Deborah Dee Harper November 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    Henry, what a blessing you are to me today! I am rapidly approaching 62 and I am in the midst of my second career, which is also writing. I got my start with the Christian Writers Guild (we were co-nominees at the 2009 Operation First Novel) and I often wonder what God has in mind for me. I’ve tried giving up writing and that lasts about six seconds. The doors are opening and I’m going through–with God’s help 🙂


  11. Henry November 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    Deborah, it is so good to hear from you. If God has planted the seed in you to write, if this is the desire He has placed in your heart, go for it. Trust Him to open doors and provide favor.

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