The lessons we learn from this aging apostle will enable us to run well today, while encouraging us to finish strong tomorrow.
When I was in high school a new music teacher came to town. He was fresh out of college and full of ambition. But here he was, stuck in a very rural community where people didn't put up with (as they called it) "long-haired music," either from the Beatles or Beethoven. Still, he was determined to teach us good music. We were going to sing selections from Handel's Messiah for our Christmas concert. Most of us had never heard of Georg Frederic Handel, and when we first tried to sight-read through the selections, we became convinced we didn't like his music. It was too hard, too complicated. More than that, Handel wouldn't allow us to sing simple harmonies; no, he created different parts for each voice, and we in the bass section weren't able to hide all our typical mistakes when Handel and our new director demanded that we sing alone.
In almost every area of human endeavor it is understood and usually expected that people will make every effort to move upward toward higher and higher levels of standing and status in their various activities. In the world of work as well as in our personal financial condition, the desired direction is always upward.