The Other Side Of The Mountain -- By: Howard G. Hendricks

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 157:625 (Jan 2000)
Article: The Other Side Of The Mountain
Author: Howard G. Hendricks

The Other Side Of The Mountaina

Howard G. Hendricksb

How old would you be, if you did not know how old you were? This question from the lips of Satchel Paige shoots toward the heart of the process we call aging, God’s recycling program. A tree buds; it flowers with leaves and fruit; eventually it drops the fruit; the leaves shrivel and float to the ground—all in order to nourish the tree for future life. This is a simplistic picture of David’s words in Psalm 103:15–16: “As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more; and its place acknowledges it no longer.”

Made in the image and likeness of the Creator, humans possess an awesome ability to affect this decline. Our mental capacity acts like ingeniously designed software to dictate direction and to order the very circumstances of living. Aging is largely a matter of the mind; it’s your attitude, not your age. One is only as old as his mental posture—his attitude, not his arteries. Attitude is the steering wheel of life; a slight turn leads to a radically different destination.

Mrs. Simpson, a friend in Houston, used to visit her daughter in Dallas; my wife remembers her because she was the first guest speaker in their women’s Bible study ever to address the subject of change, teaching from Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth.” I recall her entering a Christmas party one year, spotting me, and asking brightly, “Well, Howie, what are the five best books you’ve read recently?”

As I was pondering, she looked around and quipped, “Well,

let’s not sit here and bore each other with each other; let’s get into a discussion. And if we can’t find anything to discuss, let’s get into an argument!”

Nimble as a mountain goat, she visited the Holy Land regularly. On one occasion I saw her—age eighty-three—at the top of an ancient tell calling to a group of professional athletes, “C’mon, men, get with it!”

Then in Dallas, while she was in her sleep, the Lord took her home to heaven. Her daughter called and when I arrived, she shared with me a notepad in which Mrs. Simpson had written, before she went to bed, her goals for the next ten years. A mind-set, a vibrant, pulsating life, fully alive and alert, Mrs. Simpson personified—and taught me—what old age looks like.

Old age should be a time of expectation, not escape;...

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