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Monday, October 17, 2011

The Turbaned Tornado

 

The man with the unusual moniker, "The Turbaned Tornado," is a remarkable man.  His real name is Fauja Singh, and on Sunday, October 16th, he became the oldest man to complete a full-distance marathon when he finished the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon!  He was a bit rusty, not having run a marathon since he was 92!  He runs 7 to 10 miles every day, a habit which paid off when he pulled off this unprecedented feat.  Through an interpreter, he said prior to the race, "I just keep going knowing that every step I take I am getting closer to the finish line -- standing around is not going to get me there" (info via Sporting News and UPI.com).

I know a great many golden agers who may not have so cool a nickname, but who have the same philosophy regarding their spiritual lives.  Just because they are advanced in age does not mean that they are content to just stand (or sit) around.  Perry Cotham will be 100 years old on January 5th, if God grants him the time.  I was with him in California just a couple of years ago and witnessed him preach with such passion that he preached two non-Christian, middle-aged women "down the aisle" to be baptized.  Great gospel songwriter, Tillit S. Teddlie, lived to be 102 and led singing before a large group of Christians to commemorate his 100th birthday.  Coming up quickly behind these two greats is our own Johnson Kell, who remains an active force in the Bear Valley congregation even as he launches into his mid-90s.  

The youth movement folks can keep their "diaper dandies."  Nothing inspires me more than the aged soldier of the cross still valiantly battling the forces of evil.  As Moses urged the Israelites, "You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the Lord" (Lev. 19:32).  A gray head, if found in the way of righteousness, is a crown of glory (Prov. 16:31).  Seeing Christians who have seen many decades of life--trials, hurts, temptations, and heartaches--but who have remained faithful to Christ are heroes.  They have successfully run the most strenuous marathon of all, running that long with endurance (Heb. 12:2) and in such a way as to win (1 Cor. 9:24).  Why not "pick out" an elderly Christian whose faith and works shine before you and thank them!  There is truly no greater accomplishment.  --Neal Pollard 
 

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