The older I get the more I am convinced that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who are alive and those who are living. It seems like more and more people are simply alive. Their hearts are beating and their lungs are continuing to pull in another breath of air, but that is about the only evidence you will find to prove that there is life. They don’t have any goals that drive them throughout the day, they’ve given up on their dreams, and they are simply dragging themselves through the day waiting for the moment they will fall into their easy chair at the end of the day.
I can remember like yesterday being 15 years old and thinking about the future. Today I am 47 years old and I have to admit that when I was 15 years old I never dreamed into my 40’s. I couldn’t imagine people living that long back then. ha! My how time flies! I’m older than I ever dreamed of being and yet, in the middle of my 47th year, I want to live. I don’t mean feel another heartbeat…I mean feel my heart race! I want to feel my heart race with life–all of the wonderful opportunities that God provides for those who really want to live. I want to keep setting goals (even if it means I fall short of some of them). I want to continue to experience things in life that I’ve never experienced before–the exhilarating and the painful. I want to go places I’ve never been before. I want to meet people I’ve never met before. I want to learn things that I’ve never known before. I WANT TO LIVE!
Most people do dream when they are young, but failure, heartache, limitations, and disappointment kill their dreams like a mass murderer. Most people are willing to take risks when they are young, but as we age we tend to get more conservative and cautious. This is why I get so pumped when I hear about older people who are refusing to lay down and wait for the Lord to call them home.
People like Caleb from the Old Testament. Do you remember the story? Caleb went with Joshua and the spies to spy out the Promised Land. Years later, after Moses had died and Joshua was in charge, Caleb went to Joshua and talked to him about a promise Moses had made to him when he was forty years old. Moses had promised Caleb the hill country once they got into the Promised Land, but it was years later, forty-five years later, and the land was inhabited by some bad young dudes that were just waiting to clean someone’s clock.
For forty-five years Caleb had held onto the promise. Now that the Israelites were in the Promised Land it was time for Caleb to live out his dream–to walk in the land that had been promised to him. Caleb went to Joshua and said, “I need to talk to you for a minute.” As I read the 14th chapter of Joshua I can just feel the passion pouring from the page. I can see the fire in the old man’s eyes as Caleb, now 85 years old says,
11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” (Joshua 14:11-12)
Isn’t that awesome! “Let me at ’em!” That’s the mindset I want. Not a momentary mindset, but a mindset of passion that marks my every day. How about you? There are still guys like Caleb around, even in our day. I read a story just today about an 80 year old man named Ray Moon.
Ray is a bodybuilder. Now, that’s not too impressive until you learn that Ray is 80 years old and he only started bodybuilding five years ago. When he was 75!! Ray just finished competing in the Victorian Bodybuilding Championships in Melbourne, Australia and he dominated the field. (For those over 60) You go Ray!
Ray has overcome polio, he’s had open-heart surgery, his prostate isn’t right, and yet Ray keeps living life to the full. Ray began bodybuilding five years ago when his business fell apart and he was experiencing financial ruin. Ray said that he started training so that he could “sort out his troubled mind.” Today, Ray is the Australian Bodybuilding Champion!
Somebody reading this is waiting for their situation to get better before they start to live. My friend, what if this is “as good as it gets” as Jack Nicholson said. Don’t wait until your situation gets better. Don’t wait for things to become less hectic or less dramatic. Get up and begin to live! Turn your computer off and do something right now! You won’t regret it!