Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

December 26, 2013

Never Too Old

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

My pastoral ministry has been concluded.  At 79, it is time!  I actually retired in 1999, but since that time I have continued to be an interim pastor — ten times, actually — and for the last year or so as a pastor.  God has been so good to allow me this privilege.  I love being a pastor.  But the responsibility is too great for me to give it what is required.  My health does not allow the quality of labor I believe is needed.

So have I retired?  Yes . . . from the pastoral ministry . . . but not from the preaching ministry.  I trust God for continued opportunities to preach His Word.  My commitment is to fulfill the challenge of Dr. B.H. Carroll:  “Preach the Word ’til God calls you home.”

I will not be deterred because of age!

Age can be defied or given into.  Some people are old before they get there.  Some people are old and you wouldn’t know it.  On and on, we could go about age.  You know what I mean.  There are some folks that we observe  doing certain things and we exclaim, “I can’t believe he can do that at his age!”  I want that said about me!

An attitude about age is so important.  My dad had a good attitude about aging.  He just always believed he could continue to do what he wanted to do.  He was well into his nineties before he quit climbing a tree to celebrate his birthday each year.  He lived life with the expectation that each day would bring something to do.  He wanted to be busy everyday, and he was, until he died at over 100 years of age.

But I thought my dad was old when he was only 75 years of age.  My perspective is quite different now, of course.  In 1983, I invited him to go with me on a mission trip to Korea.  I knew it could open doors of communication because of the respect of Koreans for the elderly.  And his presence did open doors.  He would sit with men in the market place and share the gospel with them.  He would share his testimony at churches.  He was truly an asset for attracting the respect of so many.

A testimony to the respect for his age was witnessed by video.  I was asked to make a presentation of the gospel through an interpreter that would be filmed to be used by the Foreign Mission Board (now known as the International Mission Board) in training people in churches that would come to Korea as a mission team.  We were sitting on the floor in a home where the presentation was to be made.  My dad was seated on the floor with all of us.  About a third of the way through the filming, a commotion ensued.  My dad had leaned back against the door.  The door opened, and my dad rolled out backwards into the yard.  All the Koreans reacted and ran to him.  There was nothing more important to them than the fact that an elder had fallen.

Perhaps the best example of our never being too old to be used comes from my dad on that trip.  He insisted on going without me  to see a man he had heard about.  With an interpreter, dad  left the village and walked several hours up a mountain.  When they arrived, the older gentleman whom they went to visit told them very curtly that he did not want to hear a word they had to say.

My dad responded, “Old man, sit down and listen to me.  I not only came from America to see you, but I have walked up this mountain and you are going to listen to me.”  The man responded with an apology and sat and listened to Dad.  The result was that the man came into a personal relationship with God through putting his faith in Jesus Christ.  We are never too old to share the gospel . . . nor are we ever too old to receive the gospel!

There are many people who feel they are just too old to do much anymore.  There might be some limitations because of illness or physical abilities, but we are never too old to serve the Lord.  Some of us must get busy because the days are hastening by.  Think today what you can be doing.  It may be a phone call, a written note, a conversation with a neighbor or family member, or someone at the church to whom you can express concern and love.  You can be the one God uses to bring a word of hope, encouragement, and love from Him.  Because of your age, you may get the attention to your words that are deserved.

Please don’t get old before your time!  Use your days wisely. Perhaps we cannot keep the body from aging, but we can control our attitude about age.  You are never too old!  Never!  Never!  And this encouragement is from someone older than you!

“They will still bear fruit in old age.”  (Psalm 92:14))    “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, til I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”  (Psalm 71:18)




  1. Brother J,
    The inclusion of your dad and you traveling to Korea in this “goodbye” tickled my heartstrings.
    Thank you for sharing from your heart. I am taking liberty to include at least part of this in my Missions Program the second Thursday of January.
    Please give my sweet friend, Judy, a big (hug), thus you get one as well. Don’t you love it?
    May God continue to bless the Jollys and Rothschilds
    So sorry that Floridians misplaced to south Georgia can’t vote for “DAVID JOLLY FOR CONGRESS”. Betty and Raymond Lisenby
    Don’t you think Benn should send a picture of one of Pasco’s finest Marines in uniform supporting his neighboring congressional candidate?

    Comment by Betty Lisenby — December 26, 2013 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

  2. Pastor Jolly: After just coming from ;yours and Mrs. Jolly’s retirement dinner I loved reading this post. Gotten behind lately on my reading. You will never know how much I have appreciated being under your leadership. I only wish I had been under your leadership since I was saved and baptized at age 12. I do hope that ya’ll will continue to be a part of Richland Baptist Church and mentor where the Lord leads. The new pastor, that HE already has chosen, all of the leaders and leaders to come. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your ministry team. It has been such a blessing to me. May we follow God’s will and always make the choices HE wishes for us. What a wonderful family you have and all the people you have led in the past have had the privilege to know. You have helped my family and myself grow and we love ya’ll soooooo much. We will never forget ya’ll. May God’s blessings go with ya’ll wherever ya’ll go as have gone before.

    We love ya’ll and always will. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Comment by Doris — December 29, 2013 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

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