You know, there is little that is as heartwarming as seeing someone who has lived a really, really long time. We often look back on those times in the Bible when people lived hundreds of years and seemed to only be getting started at the century mark. Well, here is a real life example of a man, who I believe, may be the same way. Now, normally when you see an interview with a person who has crested the 100 year milestone you are witnessing a rather...less-than-stimulating conversation. Not so with Bishop Otis Clark. If it had not been for the example of my step-grandmother (Grandma Bess) who lived to be almost 101 and retained a tack-like sharpness, I would not have been able to believe that Bishop Clark was 108. Can you imagine what this man has seen and experienced in his life on this earth? For instance, he was born the same year that the Wright brothers made the first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, NC (yes, I did have to plug my beloved home state). That means he has seen aeronautical technology go from a couple of guys puttering along on a canvas and wood biplane to jet aircraft to space travel. Likewise, he has seen us go from communicating with telegraphs to rotary dialed phones to the world wide web. Despite the fact that he has seen more than some people would see in two lifetimes he remains grounded in his faith in Christ. With the rise of all kinds of philosophies and theologies that vie for our attention and devotion Bishop Clark still clings to the old-time Gospel in an old-time way...and he's lived longer than anyone who just meditates on personal happiness.
It may be that if you watch this video you might find some things to disagree with theologically, and ultimately that's okay. However, I think there is a larger lesson that can be drawn from this man's story. By living according to God's principles you are living in the manner that He designed us to live in and, all other random factors aside, that is the best way to insure a long life. Furthermore, we see that Bishop Clark has been preaching for almost 89 years! That means he has been following God's call and has been used by God for the vast majority of his life. One of the things that my pastor often says is; the man of God is indestructible until the will of God is finished in his life. I grant that God's will for some of us is not longevity, history affirms that fact. However, here is a tangible proof of that statement and encouragement for each of us. The bottom line is this, if we honor God with our lives, He will honor us (regardless of the circumstances and trials that come our way) and if we surrender to His will for our lives, He will use us to advance His kingdom. Whether He uses us for 1 year or 89 years, He will take care of us until our call is complete. To Bishop Clark I say this, "keep walkin'" and "preach on brother...preach on."