See you "up there"...

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As another example of ending well, submitting to God's dispensation of decrepitude with a willing and usually cheerful spirit, I would hold up my dear father and mother-in-law, Ken and Margaret Taylor. What joy and love we have received from them through the years! And how faithful they have been to demonstrate bearing up under the sorrows of life (and now the limitations of old age) with submission and faith.

Wheaton College is the alma mater both of my own father and mother and of Mary Lee's parents. Recently Wheaton's alumni magazine asked Dad Taylor to write a short piece for them--he could choose the subject. Here then is the piece he wrote, published this month. May God give all of us this same spirit during the years when the "almond tree blossoms" (Eccles. 12:1-7).

On Aging

by Kenneth N. Taylor

(from the Autumn 2004 issue of Wheaton College's alumni magazine, Wheaton)

When Wheaton's editor asked me to write a short article, I guess I was feeling grumpy that day and tried to decline. But she is a good sales lady; and as she opened the possibilities ("You can write on anything you want to"), I began to think about the fact that not many people are old enough to write with authority on Old Age. This fact was further driven home when my wife of 64 years, Margaret, had only seven of her classmates plus spouses show up for their 65th class reunion at Alumni Weekend in May. So being one of the "last roses of summer," I surely should be able to share a few helpful thoughts.

One of those thoughts is that when I am laid to rest in the next two or three years (or will it be weeks?), not many people will give it more than a passing thought other than to say, "Sorry to hear it." This is a reminder to me that we do not live for praise but to help others, so whatever needs doing must be done now.

My life's work of translating and paraphrasing the Bible has been helpful to many through the years, and I pray that even now in whatever remaining time there is, others will be helped.

What, then, remains for me to do? That is what God must tell me. My remaining time, brief as it may or may not be, is as always in God's hands. I will be His servant to the end, and then suddenly be transformed from a servant into a son! Then I can serve Him even better, and please Him even more. Meanwhile I want to love Him more, and feel the warmth of His love for me as well as know that His love surrounds me. I want to see my stumbling prayer life grow strong. (I've begun--again--a prayer notebook to remind me of things god has told me to pray about, and I check them off with thanks when the answers come.) I want to fill my life with prayer and daily readings of the Scriptures--from Genesis to Revelation--just as I have so often preached to others to do.

So here I am, just past my 87th birthday, anxious beyond all things to enjoy Christ's love for me, to express my love to Him, and His love to others.

I hope this is your desire, too. Glory to God. See you "up there."

(Taylor, Kenneth. "On Aging," Wheaton (Autumn 2004): 14)

* * *

This issue's transitional feature (pages 14-15) is written by Wheaton alumnus Kenneth N. Taylor 1938, Litt.D. '65--author, Bible translator, and founder and CEO of a successful publishing company. His assignment was to write about anything he wished. So what does he choose to tell us, as he acknowledges growing old and nearing heaven--this gentleman with four honorary doctorates, numerous awards, and countless accomplishments? He return to the basics of the gospel of Jesus Christ, to a faith simple enough for a child to understand.

Kenneth N. Taylor was born to godly parents in Portland, Oregon, May 8, 1917, the second of three sons. He met his future wife, Margaret West (Wheaton College Class of 1939), when they were freshmen at Beaverton High School. They were married in 1940. He attended Dallas Theological Seminary for three years and graduated from Northern Baptist Seminary. Most of his adult life has been spent in Christian publishing, beginning with InterVarsity, and followed by 13 years as director of Moody Press. In 1962 he founded Tyndale House Publishers in order to publish Living Letters, the first portion of what eventually became The Living Bible in 1972. The Taylors have 10 children, 28 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren.

(Douglass, Georgia. "Letter from the Editor." Wheaton (Autumn 2004):2.)