Monday Memo 1151: Old Thoughts

In some of my purpose coaching sessions, I hear people say they are "old." They think they should be further along in their purpose than they are and thus are fearful they are running out of time. Now that I'm in my 70s, it's funny to hear someone in their 40s or 50s tell me they're old. My usual response to them is, "Old? You're not old. I have pencils and socks older than you are!"

The problem I go on to address is their thinking, for they have what I call "old thoughts" and old thoughts will make you and keep you old, even when you're young. We see someone else in the Bible who also had a problem with old thoughts:

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time" (Luke 1:18-20).

When Zechariah claimed he was too old, I can almost see the astonished look on Gabriel's face: "What do you mean you're too old? I just told you God's will for your life and you're telling me it can't be done? I'm shocked! Do you know who I am? Do you know who I represent?" It seems that the angel then took it upon himself to sentence Zechariah to nine months of silence to reconsider and repent of his old-thought mindset.

You don't have to be old to have old thoughts. My friends in their 50s who say they are old have old thoughts. You can be in your 30s and have thoughts of what it's like to be old. You think that when you're old, it means your health will fail. When you're old, you have less energy. When you're old, you lose your memory. When you're old, you gain weight. Those are old thoughts and if you foster and protect them, they will become a reality—while you're still young!

Zechariah had nine months to think about the folly of his assumptions and when his son was born, this is what happened:

Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God (Luke 1:62-64).

Your later years are not meant to be spent sitting in front of a window or computer while you watch the world go by. You have a lifelong purpose and old thoughts won't help you fulfill it. And when like Zechariah you think or say, "I'm too old," you're ignoring and dishonoring what the angel later said to Mary, "For nothing will be impossible with God" (Luke 1:37). Your old age is just another chance for you to show forth the glory and majesty of God's power, but you won't be able to do that unless you clean out your attic full of old thoughts, right now while you're still young(er). Have a blessed week!



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