“Before my father died, he said the worst thing about growing old was that other men stopped seeing you as dangerous.” LT Rorke Act of Valor
When I heard that quote, what bothered me about growing old came into sharp focus. I am a fourth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I am a personal trainer, too. I’m not the toughest man alive, but I am not a wimp. I know that one day I will be old and far more feeble than I want to admit. Someday I will not be tough at all. As much as I want to be Clint Eastwood tough when I’m 78, it’s only in the movies that old guys can be tough guys.
Seriously, how long can you be the tough guy? Is it into the 50s, 60s, or 70s? You go from hearing, “I wouldn’t want to tangle with that guy!” to, “Isn’t he a cute old man?”
Is it strength or power that makes a man a man? Since you asked: A man stands up for what is right no matter what. He stands in the face of injustice or oppression or tyranny and says, “No more!” He puts his life on the line in the process.
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.’” Daniel 3:16-18
Safety has never been a guarantee when one stands up for what is right. Following God has never been about security and comfort when the forces of evil howl.
We’ve turned the Bible into a thing about strength when it really isn’t about strength. It is about our weakness and God’s strength. Paul writes, “For when I am weak, then I am strong” 1 Corinthians 12.10b.
I want to grow old knowing that because of God’s Holy Spirit, I can always make a difference. I want to grow old knowing that because of God’s Spirit within me I will always be dangerous.
I can live with that. How about you?