Wednesday, April 26, 2006

In Praise of Old Guys

Last week my son Caleb and I attended an event in Dallas called the “Quarterback Bowl.” It was held in Reunion Arena. It was a flag football game between local radio station personalities from “The Ticket,” a few unknown folks, and a group of former Dallas Cowboys. One team was quarterbacked by the Hall of Fame, three time Super Bowl winner, Troy Aikman. The opposing team was led by Hall of Fame, two time Super Bowl winner, Roger Staubach.

I must note here that Troy is just a few years out of retirement. He is only 39 years old. Roger on the other hand, is in his early 60s. On his team, Troy had Michael Ervin, Daryl Johnston and Jay Novacek. Roger had, Drew Pearson and Herschel Walker. By all that makes sense, Troy’s team should have won in a walk. But it didn’t go that way. Roger was… well… Roger. He scrambled, dodged and threw the ball on target. Short or long, Roger’s throws were on the money.

The next day the radio guys asked Roger if he would play again next year. He said that they should get some of the old Pittsburgh Steelers to come down so he could "even the score" with them. After all these years, he still has a fire in him to settle the score with an old rival.

The old guys won the game! I loved it. You see, I’m old enough now that I get called old by my kids. A while back the little girl at McDonalds tried to give me the “senior discount” – yeah I took it!

When I was looking for a youth ministry position, I was asked all the time about being too old for youth ministry. It’s not always a silly question. I’ve know guys in their 20s who were too old for youth ministry. It’s a matter of heart. My hero in youth ministry, Buddy Mills, is over 50. He belongs in the Hall of Fame if you ask me. Those who think we might be too old to work with kids wouldn’t think of telling the guys from Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones or Paul McCartney, “You guys can’t relate to teens today you’re in your sixties.” Ridiculous!

I read about an old guy who still had it well into his later years. I named my son after him. I’m looking forward to meeting him someday. Caleb was 85 when he said, “I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day” (Joshua 14:11-12). So let’s hear for old guys who still have a passion for life, love, battle, football and the Father’s business.

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