Longevity

What keeps a person going? How does one find the spark that never goes dark? Why is it that many of us retire before we really see the full fire ablaze in our lives? I have always been amazed at the men and women who will not be dissuaded nor allow themselves to become disqualified; they stay in the race till the last lap.

When I was twenty, I joined my first church. It was a Spirit-filled Lutheran Church. It was wonderful! Pastor Mirly was just as comfortable with a bunch of long-haired, tee-shirt wearing college freshman as he was the adults who wore mink, nice suits, and drove expensive cars. But then there was, Father Sherry. A retired Episcopalian priest who had outlived 3 wives and was the designated Scripture reader for our college folk service at 7:30AM on Sunday mornings. Into his late 80’s, still full of life, gleaming blue eyes, shoulder length gray hair, maybe 5′-2′, and more a man than just about any person I’ve known. The minute I met him, I had mad respect for him.

He would gather with us, teach us the bible, pray for us, rebuke us, encourage us, laugh with us, and was always for us. What is it that compels a person like Father Sherry, Pastor Mirly, or my friends Linus & Sharon Morris who continue to travel, share their faith and train up leaders around the world well into their seventies?

All I know is…I want it. God has given me the wonderful examples of what it is like to endure, and to do it with joy. Could anything be better?

On this Easter, I remember, and give thanks for them. And God…if you could give me a little of what they had, it would be swell!

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