Back in September 2007, one of the most incredible stories in the world of sports unfolded and yet very few people knew about it. It happened on a Saturday afternoon when 59-year-old Mike Flynt took the field for the Sul Ross State Lobos. Not as a coach or a trainer, but as a player. He was their starting linebacker. Flynt had played for this Division III team back in 1970, but was forced to quit before his senior year. And the truth is he never got over the regret of not getting to play that final season. So, when he found out that he still had one more semester of eligibility, he signed up. Sports Illustrated called him “the ultimate college senior” because he was a grandfather, a member of AARP and he was eight years older than his head coach. But his playing was no gimmick. He had to earn his spot on the roster just like everyone else. When interviewed by a local paper Flynt said, “The opportunity like what I’m going after right now is just a testament to what you do at any stage of your life if you just take a few minutes every day to prioritize your health and take better care of yourself.”
I love this story. Maybe it’s because I just celebrated my birthday, but I don’t think so. I love this story because it reminds me that most of our limitations in life are self-imposed. You don’t find any verses in the Bible where God says you’re too young, too old, too weak, too poor, too uneducated or too anything to be used by Him. The reason why is because there are certain qualities that trump all the limitations you can imagine. One of them is faith and one of them is a willingness to suit up and give something a try. That’s what Mike Flynt did.
Recently I was reading through Acts 2, and the miraculous event that happened on the Day of Pentecost that ushered in the beginning of the New Testament Church. When the people who were witnesses to that event were trying to figure it out the Apostle Peter stood up and gave an explanation that was based on some prophetic words spoken years earlier by the prophet Joel. The prophecy described things that would happen in the last days and one of the statements (Acts 2:17) was, Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. (NIV) Now, I don’t want to be guilty of misusing this verse of Scripture but I just love the idea of old men dreaming dreams. The Bible is filled with story after story of God using people with lots of years (uh, I mean experience) to accomplish His will and His purpose in the world. There’s no reason why you can’t be one of them.
Psalm 92:12-14 says, The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green. (NIV) You’re never too old to bear fruit for God, not if you live by faith and you’re willing to suit up and give something a try. So decide today to never let the number of candles on your birthday cake keep you from dreaming big dreams and pursuing whatever challenge, opportunity, desire or interest comes your way.