Old but not out- James Taylor
Paperback, 108 pages,
Published by Day One Publications, Rylands Road, Leominster, HR6 0NZ, England.
The sub-title of this book is ‘Purpose and Discipleship in Old Age’. Written by James Taylor, a retired Baptist minister with considerable pastoral, administrative, and academic experience, it does not set out to provide answers to all the problems associated with growing old; the whole thrust of this readable volume is to stimulate us to approach this period of life with positive attitudes, and to take advantage of the opportunities which it offers. Eight of the nine chapters focus on a Bible character, or on a specific passage from scripture, from which the author seeks to draw lessons, and to challenge older people in their life and service for the Lord, to make the most of the opportunities which advancing years bring.
While encouragement abounds, the author does not fail in his duty to remind those of us who have passed our ‘three score years and ten’ that what we are in old age is the result of what we have been in our earlier years, ‘You take into retirement the person your working years have formed. You prepare for old age by taking a positive attitude throughout your life, and by living each stage fully’. Among the opportunities which enrich our later years, the author rightly highlights the need to engage in intercessory prayer. For the Christian there is also the opportunity to go on learning. The constraints of space prevented the author from giving us a list of such lessons. Those of us who have any sense of our own weaknesses would not find it difficult to compile one!
A chapter on Eli brings a salutary reminder that we take into the eventide of life the mistakes of our earlier years. On the other hand Caleb offers us an example to emulate, reminding us that ‘there is no discharge in that war’; the Lord of the churches does not want us to squander our later years in self-indulgence. ‘So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom’.