Lionel Whiston was a dapper eighty-some year old saint when I met him thirty years ago. He was one of those uncommon individuals who had a gift for pulling people in, drawing them out, and sending them off with a gift. And he preached mighty good sermons, too. But the thing I remember most about Lionel was the gift he gave me that day: a happy revelation that old age was nothing to fear. If I could age like him, then each birthday would celebrate another year of becoming more like Jesus.
That’s my hope. Bill Gothard says that “The fear of old age is the false assumption that I still have many years of life ahead of me.” Only God knows the number of my days, but for this day I’m setting my hope on aging like Lionel, with my ear snuggled ever closer to the heartbeat of Jesus.