Toby Keith has a song called, “Don’t Let the Old Man In.” He got the idea after asking legendary actor/director, Clint Eastwood how he was going to celebrate his 88th birthday. Eastwood replied that he would be shooting a movie. Impressed at Eastwood’s vitality at his age, Keith asked what kept him going. Eastwood said, “Every morning I get up and don’t let the old man in.”
Don’t Let The old man in
In the song, people are encouraged to ask themselves how old they would be if they did not know the day they were born. He also sings, “When the old man rides up to our door, don’t let him in.” While I do not endorse Eastwood or Keith, these words do align with Biblical truth.
My wife is currently making notes on places in the Bible where God used people in their old age. She shared a passage where God spoke to Joshua when Joshua was probably between 85 and 100 years old. We might expect God said something like, “Josh, old buddy, you have done a good job for a long time. I am proud of you, and you should be proud too. You have served your turn, and I am sure you would like to relax and enjoy a more leisurely pace now. Here is a gold watch for my thanks of your many years of fine service. Go and enjoy your well-deserved retirement.”
That, however, is the exact opposite of what God said to Joshua.
“When Joshua was old and well advanced in years, the Lord said to him, “You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.” -Joshua 13:1
Essentially, God said, “Joshua, you are getting old, and there is still a lot of work to be done, you better get busy!” God was telling Joshua that instead of being retired, he needed to be re-fired!
Re-Fire For Kingdom Work
I first heard that phrase on a recent trip from my Uber driver named Brady. In our conversation, we discovered our connection as brothers in Christ and ended the ride by praying for one another. In Brady’s prayer, he mentioned this distinction between being retired and re-fired. It spoke deeply to my heart, as I am approaching the age where many people retire. I know one day I will too, but only in the sense of no longer drawing a paycheck. I never want to wake up just “tired again,” or “re-tired.” I want to be “re-fired” for the work of the Gospel!
Isaiah 40 says, “Those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength.”
Even if we are retired, we do not have to “let the old man in.” Instead, we can be re-fired for the work of the Kingdom.
The truth is, one does not have to be “seasoned” to be worn out. Life and ministry can often be difficult, therefore, it is easy to become burned and ready to pass the Kingdom work to someone else. That, however, is NOT God’s purpose and plan!
Let us all, regardless of age, take to heart the message God spoke to Joshua, “There is much to do, so we better get busy!” We should “redeem the time,” regardless of how little or how much time we may have. We must love God with all our heart, soul, mind, AND STRENGTH. Don’t let the old man in. Don’t retire from the work of the Kingdom, RE-FIRE for Kingdom work!