It’s not what you expect when you sit with octogenarians. Most men of this age have quit believing in dreams and chasing fantasies.
They are old enough to know better. Thankfully, some don’t.
One day last week I enjoyed the unexpected privilege of sitting separately with two of my heroes. At the age when most have put away their palettes and ceased painting dreamscapes, these two men are still expectantly gazing deep into the future.
Both men spent time unveiling what was still behind the curtain of unaccomplished goals and unrealized dreams. Each was still talking about what should be and would be in the rest of their lives. The Old Testament prophet Joel spoke of guys like this when he described what real Kingdom seers would be like: “old men will dream dreams.”
These were not guys sadly wishing upon a star or sighing an “if only” prayer. Like Simeon in the story of Jesus’ Temple dedication, these are men are dead-set on seeing the dream come to life.
As I listened to each animatedly describing what they were still working toward I thought of how few people really end well. It is the common curse of old age to give up, give in or give out. But not these men–they are not given to the common.
They both have a Caleb complex. Like the gutsy silent partner of Joshua, they arrive at the Promised Land and put dibs on the mountain–the hardest place to conquer, but oh what a view.
They are “livin’ the dream”.
Deep in their hearts each of these aged adventurers is tenaciously holding to and passionately chasing after something others cannot see, but something these men will not be denied.
They are in good company. Bible stories repeatedly show us unflinching visionaries who would not give up until they saw their vision in full 3D.
- Noah kept pounding nails and gathering animals for 120 years.
- Abraham unwaveringly held onto God’s promise of a son for well over a decade.
- Moses led a nation around a desert 40 years living on the vision of a Promised Land.
- Anna and Simeon each clung for nearly a lifetime to hope that they would see Messiah for themselves.
- Mary treasured and believed an angelic prophecy about her boy Jesus for nearly 30 years.
- The Biblical book of Hebrews described those who died in faith still looking for a city whose builder was God.
Longevity is a benefit modern healthcare is bestowing on many of us. But what will we do with this gift of days?
How many days I am given is not as important to me as how alive I am each of those days.
I do not want to leave life like the last twinkle of little star fluttering out in fading light. I want to go out in a blaze of glory! I have no interest in lots of years unless those years are filled with hopes that burn like unquenchable fire.
My older mentors have taught me this: How we leave life is determined by how we live life.
Live with an undying vision and there will be a legacy of dreamers in your wake.