“There is so much the young can learn from those who have traveled the distance. Likewise, the elderly would be wise to consider the contribution the young make even to our own lives. They will see our mistakes, and they will see our triumphs. We will hopefully recognize their struggles and accomplishments and encourage them as they face the unknown future. The Bible says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose…a time to gain, and a time to lose” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,6 NKJV). In times of loss there are lessons to be gained. Let’s not miss the purposes of God even in times of sorrow and disappointment, for He is always with us on our journey.” Pg. 20, Nearing Home by Billy Graham; Thomas Nelson publishers.
Billy Graham is a national icon. Even non-Christians know him. He’s a powerful force in our time, bold in his proclamations for Christ. Even at 93 years-old, Graham exudes the same spark that I have witnessed on video clips. Sadly, I have never read a Billy Graham book until now and I have never heard him speak.
The book talks about growing old, finishing well and bridging the gap between young and old. The quote above I highlighted. There were so many quotable items and good points that I wish so many young and old would read and take to heart. Perhaps if we followed Billy Graham’s example we could have a chance at bridging the generation gap. Our young people need to learn the lessons of our grandparents and our seniors need the young people for flexibility and youthfulness. Graham also spoke about preparing for death, and not just in the financial sense.
“Don’t give gifts you can’t afford. This often happens when grandparents try to buy the affection of children or grandchildren by showering them with overly generous gifts. Harsh as it may sound, some parents use money almost as a weapon, attempting to control their children with it or using it to try to bridge the gap between them and an alienated child. They have forgotten the Bible’s wise words: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). Guard against unwise financial decisions as you grow older.” – Pg. 62
Nearing Home is an excellent book for all adult ages. My husband said, “I don’t want to grow old.” He doesn’t want to feel helpless or dependent on someone else for survival, but like Billy Graham said in his book we have every day to prepare for old age. Our bodies are deteriorating. Psychologically, the people my age aren’t prepared. We’re too busy fighting old age, the inevitable, instead of aging gracefully. He also says that none of us were meant to retire.
A widow left behind has a purpose to do His work. She is not done yet because her husband is gone. Think of the widow who worshiped at the temple. At one time, seniors were honored, and now we think of them as useless. They shouldn’t drive and they can’t do anything, some say. With our attitudes we drive that point into their psyche until they believe it. No one is useless. And while there is nothing wrong with a senior who loves to travel or who is able to retire well, some seniors stop helping. Graham drives in his point that there is no retirement in this world or in the next.
One of his friends joked with Graham about heaven. His friend asked Graham what was he going to do in Heaven since he spent his earthly hours evangelizing? In heaven there will be no need for evangelists. Graham joked that God might appoint him as choir director. Graham also speaks about his enduring love for Ruth and how difficult it’s been for him since her passing. I enjoyed reading his words, and being that this is my first Billy Graham book, I am not disappointed. It exceeded my expectations and gently gave me insight into the older generation that at times have befuddled me. Young or old, everyone needs to read this. Like Billy Graham, I, too, want to finish well. We’re all nearing home because death is uncertain and none of us know the day or time when death will knock on our door. We can be assured that Christ has conquered death (those of us who believe). Graham spends most of the end of the book evangelizing and talking about having a relationship with Christ; not merely believing in Christ, but living it.
*Book given by publisher for review.
(Today we honor those who fell at Pearl Harbor. So few of the survivors are alive to tell the story. Let’s not forget the lesson of that horrible day and the lives lost.)