When one has passed the age of sixty, aware that more than two-thirds of his life has gone by, and that probably not more than ten or twelve years remain for work at any task worth mentioning (and when, of these years, twoscore have been spent in one profession) he is compelled to ask himself two questions. If the answers do not satisfy him, the questions may torment him the remainder of his life.
The first is this: If I had my life to live over again, and had any choice in the matter, would I devote myself to the same work that has engaged my time and strength these forty years? And the second: How shall I most satisfyingly occupy myself in the years that remain, should God grant this further period of time? This question in turn poses a supplementary one: Is the work in which one has labored all these years (if I may now use the third person rather than the first) of such a character that life’s greatest joys will be found in continuing in these same tasks; or is one convinced that he has more or less exhausted what his chosen field of labor offers, and that new joys will be found only in the exploration of some other area of knowledge or activity?
Unless in this article I purpose to face such questions impersonally, and thus merely spin out a few pious platitudes, it is necessary to be somewhat autobiographical—a line I have not normally pursued in my writings. In the fall of 1918, I began my first pastorate, among the beloved, hospitable folk of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, at Ocean City, and there realized that the great passion of my life was the study, preaching and teaching of the Word of God. In all the years that have followed, there have been other secondary interests in life, but I believe there has never been ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more