Thursday, January 31, 2008

Life


Greetings to all. I hope this finds you healthy and happy, two qualities I place great value in. First off, a disclaimer: I’m not really sure why I’m thinking along these lines today, perhaps it has something to do with the change going on in my life right now. Regardless, as always, I share my thoughts with you in hopes that you’ll share yours with me and let the conversation take off from there. Humor me……

In his sermon this week, my pastor alluded to the fact that he only has 5 months to preach. If you don’t remember, he and his wife have taken a position with a ministry that will take him out of the pulpit in June. (read about it the last post) I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that before, but it hit me on an emotional level…for him. After giving 30+ years to preaching, in June he will no longer prepare sermons for Sunday mornings – something I happen to know he loves to do. And I felt a sense of loss for him.

Now, I totally believe that God is going to fill his days with other things that are equally as fulfilling for him, but think about that for a moment. Could you do it? Would you do it? Voluntarily? And so, I began thinking along the lines of the make up one’s life. Yours, mine, no one in particular, just anyone. Here’s the simplified thought:

For practical purposes, let’s say that 75 years is the given span of one’s life. The first 1/3, or roughly 25 years is spent in discovery mode. You learn and you discover who you are, what your giftings are, and ideally, begin to position yourself to be true to those for your lifetime. You begin to make choices to help you find your place in this world with a sense of fulfillment using those gifts and skills you’ve discovered and acquired.

For the next 25 years (again a simplified estimate for theory’s sake), you use those skills and talents to better yourself and help others in the process. The skills you possess are valuable and marketable and in return for your time and effort, you secure an income and a sense of security. You may provide for a family or be part of a group that accomplishes great things that benefit mankind as a whole. This stage of life labels you a productive member of society. Don’t you hate labels?

And finally, the latter 1/3 of one’s life arrives and suddenly, an strange fork in the road appears. Many take the road to retirement, unplugging from the working world to rest and settle into a soft life. Not a bad choice if you can swing it. Yet others take a path that leads them to sharing with and investing in others the same skills that carried them to this point in life. A lot of time that looks the same as the middle 1/3 of life because it can be hard work, but the thought process of the person who takes this path is far different. They have achieved a level of comfort and security in their lives, and the motivation for the hard work at this point looks to the future; a sense of passing the baton, if you will. In some instances it resembles teaching, in others it’s the continuation of a business that will operate and succeed for years to come. In both respects, it’s a very giving attitude; you might say “blessed to be a blessing”.

Okay so there’s the thought, but what’s the point, right? For me it’s this: I believe our lives are not our own. We are created in the image of God to display His goodness, and pass it along. That can happen without wearing a pope hat, you know. Sadly, too many people relate the things of God to church and religion, and while the things of God are on display in those arenas, God doesn’t have any problem being part of your life and my life right now, at whatever stage, in whatever field we happen to be in. In fact, many times He shines brighter there.

So, whatcha think? Agree, disagree? Where are you at in this life theory? Are you having trouble finding your place? Perhaps you have a different theory…I’d love to hear it. May God show off in you and through you today, may those around you have no doubt He’s alive and well because of you.


Peace……

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