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Old and gray

Thirty six years ago God gave me Psalm 74:18 as my Passion Verse. I was thirty years old at the time and could hardly imagine being old and gray. Yet, it has been framed and hanging over my desk for all those years. Now, it makes more sense, suddenly realizing I am old and gray.

Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your

power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.

Psalm 71:18, NIV

What seemed so distant then is now reality and has given me pause for reflection and a greater sense of urgency. Two or three directional arrows have been travel alerts all along the way---

1. There is consistency in the spiritual markers of these years.

Having this Passion Verse early on in ministry has given clear definition in the

length and breadth of my ministry career. Perhaps answering his call later in life

placed the urgency of the next generation more firmly in my goals and

objectives. This sense of consistency has provided guidance markers in each

place of service, a small way to verify his placement in four great churches and

time with the SCBC.

2. This verse has further confirmed my confidence in God's Word.

These thirty-five years has seen a collapse in the prevailing church culture in

America. What at one time was a creeping secularism is now galloping to

prominence. That this one Bible verse could so completely define my ministry

again confirms the veracity of every word of Scripture. I'm no King David, for

sure. But, to know this passion was in his calling reminds me that God's Word

is eternal and can be applied even in these cynical times.

3. Psalm 71:18 provided a purpose and passion beyond my active ministry.

Retirement for me has been the end of ministry service. There has always been

a next chapter and this verse carried me passionately into it. Thirty-five years

later this verse still challenges and excites me. How gracious of him to give us

passion into our old and gray years.

What is the practical import of a Passion Verse? I can only speak for myself. But, this line from David's Psalm keeps me moving forward even when I am old and gray.

And, for this I am truly grateful.

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