Seriously Seasoned Superstars (Encouragement for Creators)


When we continue to work hard and dream big, our greatest successes can often come later in life. Thursday’s post, “Geriatric Giant Slayers,” examined the lives of two men from the Bible, who achieved their dreams at ripe old ages — proving you’re never too gray to achieve your goals. We also discussed how age is relative. We’ve met people who are seventy and eighty-something, but who are real go-getters; and forty-year-olds who act like life is over. No matter how OLD you think you are, please don’t retire to the rocker just yet. Keep on dreaming and creating. We hope to inspire you with the examples of two modern-day Geriatric Giant Slayers:

Classic Morgan Freeman line: “Didn’t you get the memo?”

The award-winning actor Morgan Freeman didn’t simply burst onto the big screen; his fame and universally recognized voice and image are the culmination of years of hard work and perseverance, and it arrived much later in his life. First off, Freeman never actually planned to be an actor. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force as a mechanic before the acting bug bit. Then came years of small parts on the stage, leading to starring roles on the stage, leading to bit parts in television, leading to bigger and better things in several made-for-TV movies. Had he arrived? Not yet.

Freeman was destined to play Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall, Nelson Mandela and GOD!! (And it was good.) Not to mention the brains who kept Batman fully equipped in three box-office bonanzas. But getting these plum assignments meant working several more years, in supporting roles (Sigh, again?) in smaller theatrical movies.

Finally, in 1989, Freeman wowed us in unforgettable roles in two big-budget movies, Glory and Driving Miss DaisyHe’d really hit the big time, and he was only 52! Today, at age 81, Freeman is spending his remaining golden years gentling rocking — as senators, scientists, doctors and diplomats — in an average of three movies a year! In fact, he’s one of the busiest actors in Hollywood! Didn’t you get the memo?

Excellent film adaptation of an excellent book series from the mind of Patrick O’Brian, a heavily seasoned writer!

Another late bloomer: Patrick O’Brian worked decades as a novelist but didn’t become more widely read and better known until he was in his late sixties. Suddenly his series of novels set during the Napoleonic Wars and featuring British Naval Captain Jack Aubrey and Ship’s Doctor and sometimes intelligence agent Stephen Maturin, were making the New York Times Bestsellers List. Walter Cronkite and Charlton Heston were among his avid readers, and after 20 engaging novels, as well as numerous Patrick O’Brian interviews and speaking engagements, a big-budget movie based on two of the books was filmed: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany.

O’Brian became a superstar in his seventies!

So you’re never too old to reach new heights. You’re never too old to dream, create, achieve your goals, and live life to the fullest!

“I will be your God throughout your lifetime — until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you.” (Isaiah 46:4 NLT)

“Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.” (Joel 2:28 NLT)


Geriatric Giant Slayers! (Diet for Dreamers)


In one of our last adventures, we stated that waiting for opportunity’s knock is a process during which we need to prepare and learn to trust God. We also pointed out that although God’s timing is perfect, we sometimes need to face the unsettling truth that some dreams take a very long time. We don’t give up, though! We keep waiting.

But exactly how long do we wait? Simple answer: as long as it takes. But what if I grow old while waiting? Complex answer: first, age (and the concept of “old”) is relative. What you think is old might be young to us; and what you consider young may seem old to others. God doesn’t seem to take age into consideration when working in people’s lives, so neither should we. Besides, if you’re still kicking, you’re not too old to fulfill your dreams.

You think we’re being optimistic. Well, we are. But what can be gained by being pessimistic? Nada. Plus, we have some great examples of people who seemed way too old to fulfill their dreams, but who in fact weren’t! That is, they WERE old — no doubt about it — but not too old to achieve their goals.

First up: the Biblical Patriarch Abraham and his wife Sarah wanted a son. A son, in the Hebrew culture, represented the future: a male heir to continue the family name and tradition. So this couple’s dream was to leave a legacy; and they had good reason to believe their dream would someday come true, because God had actually promised Abraham it would; that he’d have a son and, through that son, leave an incredible legacy. Okay, have a son, big deal. Well, it was a big deal, because Sarah couldn’t seem to bear children.

Abraham and Sarah waited for the promise to be fulfilled. And then they waited some more. Each morning, the same thing — no, not today. Oh, and uh, tomorrow’s not looking too good, either. But they trusted God, and continued to wait … for years and years! While they waited, they continued to work and prepare for their future, always trusting and staying faithful to God. How many of us could do that? Only Abraham, which is why the Bible regards him as the Father of Faith.

But even Abraham was beginning to wonder WHEN? the promise was going to be fulfilled! After all, he was 99 years old, and his wife was so far past the age of childbearing that things now looked scientifically impossible. Then one day, God simply announced, “It’s time!” Actually, the Bible states, “…Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time….” (Genesis 21:2 NASB)

Two major things you need to take away from this piece of history: first, God fulfilled the promise in an “appointed time”! God had a plan and His plan was perfect! And His timing was perfect, too! (Remember this, while you’re waiting.) God needed to get Abraham to a certain place at a certain time and with certain life experiences. Second, God’s perfect timing came when Abraham and Sarah were –in the eyes of those around them — as old as spit! In God’s eyes, however, they weren’t too old. With God, age is a question of mind over matter. To quote Mark Twain, “if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!”

It certainly didn’t matter to Caleb! He was one of the twelve spies sent to reconnoiter the Promised Land. Do you have a promised land? A place or level you want to be? Caleb and Joshua returned from their promised land to tell Moses that there were giants standing between them and where they wanted to be. Caleb and Joshua wanted to go back immediately and slay those giants, but the other ten, pessimistic and spineless spies convinced the people to stay where they were — in the wilderness.

45 years laters, Caleb finally got his opportunity to slay the giants! Once the Hebrews entered and began taking their promised land, there remained one terrifying territory where a formidable race of giants still walked the earth. These giants lived in great fortified cities positioned atop several hills. Now, if you know anything about military strategy, you know it’s harder to take out an enemy entrenched on the high ground, let alone giant enemies behind fortified battlements. But Caleb went to his old friend Joshua, and said, “…Give me this hill country (promised by the Lord) … and I shall drive them out….” (Joshua 14:12 NASB)

Joshua consented, so at the age of 85, Caleb set out to take his own, personal promised land. Caleb, the geriatric giant slayer, wasn’t about to let anything stand in the way of his dream, not giants, not naysayers, not old age!

“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord. You are my God. My times are in Your hand.” (Psalm 31:14-15)