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News You Can Use
By David Bachelor, PhD
There is a quote from T.S Elliot which says, “Old Men ought to be explorers.” A story in the headlines supports this resolution. Another story opposes this resolution. The Bible presents God’s opinion on this subject. You get to judge the evidence.
The “explorer” in the story that supports the resolution is Indiana Jones. The June 21st headline in the Wall Street Journal was, “Harrison Ford Is 80. He’s Proof: Silver-Haired Stars Are the New Box-Office Gold.” The fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise has the explorer seeking the Dial of Destiny. The WSJ article highlights how cinemas this summer will have a plethora of action movies with heroes between 60 (Tom Cruise) and 80 (Harrison Ford). These leading men include Denzel Washington (68), Pierce Brosnan (70) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (75). Even Morgan Freeman (86) made the list of the top 20 stars that attract people to the movies.
The opposition to old men as explorers was the June 21st New York Post story, “Titanic Tour CEO Didn’t Hire ‘50-Year-Old White Guys’ Because They Weren’t ‘Inspirational’.” The article explains that OceanGate’s CEO believed retired submariners were not necessary for a successful mission because “We use a game controller, um, so anybody can drive the sub.” The CEO also chose staff who were “very intelligent, motivated, younger individuals…because we’re doing things that are completely new.” One of those “new” things was using checklists that are “…more aviation-related than, uh, ocean-related.” These youngsters are too young to remember the line from the movie Apollo Thirteen, “Houston, we have a problem.”
The Bible trends towards old men as explorers. Noah was 600 years old when he boarded the Ark for the shores of a brand-new world (Gen 7:6). Abraham was 75 when God had him leave Iraq for Israel (Gen 12:4). Moses was eighty when he led the Israelites out of Egypt for a 40-year tour of the Sinai desert (Deut 1:3 and Deut 34:7). To paraphrase a popular movie title, “God’s Country is for Old Men.”
It is rare for Hollywood to agree with the Bible. And tragically, failure to heed Biblical guidance cost five people their life. The Bible says, “Old men have wisdom, and a long life gives knowledge. The old man has wisdom and strength; power and knowledge are his (Job 12:12-13). If only someone had told OceanGate’s CEO that truth, not youth, is the best inspiration.