AN AMAZING FACT: Contrary to popular opinion, you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Actually, it is much easier to teach an old dog than it is to change habits in a human being. But the old adage about old dogs still has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Most dog trainers will tell you the challenge of training your pet has less to do with the animal at the end of the collar and more to do with the one holding the leash. (I think the saying was created by someone as an excuse for not trying something new and fresh!) How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m too old to change!” People probably thought that about Harlan David Sanders.
When he was young, Harlan worked many different jobs. He did farming, worked on a steamboat, and was even an insurance salesman. At 40 he opened a service station and sold chicken dinners to his patrons. As the years went by, his way of preparing chicken became more and more popular, so he finally opened a restaurant. When a new freeway pulled future customers away from his business, he opened a franchise and Kentucky Fried Chicken was born. The Colonel was 65 years old.
I could expound on Ray Kroc, who started McDonald’s at 52; Laura Ingalls Wilder, who published her first Little House book at age 65; or Grandma Moses, who began painting at age 75. Benjamin Franklin signed the U.S. Constitution at age 81. Golda Meir became Israel’s prime minister when she was 70. Ronald Reagan became President of the United States just 16 days before his 70th birthday. And Peter Mark Roget published his well-used thesaurus at the age of 73.
Still, I think Moses rises to the top of all leaders in Scripture for his service to God in his latter years. His call at the burning bush happened when he was 80 years old. In his first 40 years, he learned the ways of the Egyptians. In his second 40 years, he had to unlearn many things. Then, from the ages of 80 to 120, this intelligent and humble man led Israel to the border of the Promised Land.
Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs early in his reign. The wisdom he first lived by led Israel into a golden era. The king pointed people to God as the source of all wisdom. Had this wise man taken his own medicine, he would have left a strong legacy to the last days of his life.
Additional reading: Proverbs 19:15–29
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. Proverbs 19:20