At one of the churches that I pastored there was a dear saint named Dr Bill Randolph who at one time had been the president of Lancaster Bible College but who was now elderly and blind. I’m sure that this dear man had forgotten more about theology than I will ever learn. It was somewhat intimidating to preach with him there but every Sunday after church he would give me this huge bear hug and say, “Do you know why I like listening to you preach? Because I always learn something new.” That was Dr. Randolph. As he aged, Dr Randolph developed a philosophy of life that was summed up in a saying of his that stuck with me. He would say that the key to getting old was this, “Don't die until you're dead!" Today there tends to be a trend in the church in which when we retire from our jobs we retire from serving in the church. Folks, listen, retire from your job. You earned it. But never retire from serving Jesus, especially in the church. That’s the story of Caleb in the book of Joshua. With age he became more confident and more involved. As you age, your physical vision will naturally get dimmer but your spiritual vision should get clearer. Don’t die until you’re dead!
In Joshua 13:1 the Bible says that Joshua was old and advanced in years when the Lord said to him, “You are old and advanced in years.” God just says it. He doesn't beat around the bush. He doesn't say, “You know, Joshua, you look pretty good for your age.” He just says, “Dude, you’re old.” In our culture today, we don't look forward to getting old. In fact, we dread it and even try to avoid. And when we get there we won't even admit it. God doesn’t look at getting old in that way. God doesn't want you to dread getting old or fear getting old. He wants you to embrace it. In our culture we categorize age. With babies we measure age by weeks. As they get older, we measure them by half years and then full years. Then we reach a point where we begin to measure age by decades. I’m in my 50's. Ultimately, we reach the point where it's impolite to even talk about it. After God tells Joshua he is old, He then says, “But I still got work for you to do!” Folks, listen, you are never too old to serve Jesus. You're never too old for God not to have a plan for you, not to have a purpose for you.