I made a new friend recently. His name is John. John is a CPA in Birmingham and also serves on a board for someone we were considering for a men’s conference. John and I met for dinner and immediately I felt as if I had known him for years.
John said something I believe to be prophetic. His words spoke deep to my heart even though they don’t yet apply to me. Maybe they spoke to me to pass along. Maybe they spoke to me to help me prepare for what is to come. I don’t know, but something about his words stirred my heart.
I am still in my mid-40s, although I’m on the downhill slide toward 50. I find myself thinking a lot about the next phase of life. Life without kids in the house. Life when I am not daddy to children, but to adults. Life, when I don’t feel like every dollar is earmarked. I know my kids will always need me but I also know things are about to be different.
We know the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy. Just like a pickpocket stripping us of our wallet, the enemy steals from us and often we don’t even realize what was stolen until it is already gone. As John and I spoke I saw something of value that maybe has been stolen by the enemy.
I believe the lost prize, is the latter years of our lives. John was in his early 60s. But it seems that John’s dreams have not faded since his kids left home. We spoke of his plans for his life. He brought to my attention the characters in the Bible that did not find their true path until the last third of their life. Hero’s like Abraham, Moses, even Paul did not find and live out their true calling until they were already ‘long in the tooth.’ Just like these heroes of the faith, as John’s age increases he also wants his influence and impact to increase.
This is very counter to our culture. We look at the last part of life as a time to slow down. A time to sit back as those younger step up. Seems like the older I get the more I want to pursue comfort. I don’t think anyone would describe Paul’s later years as ones of comfort, but they did have a purpose. I know many older men that seem to have lost their mission. They lose their sense of calling and purpose.
When a man loses purpose something is lost deep within him. Instead of seeing the Old Sages we see Old Curmudgeons. Instead of Wisdom, we see Grouchiness. The enemy robs us of life.
Maybe as we age we should focus on falling in love with Jesus and people like never before.
Maybe we should open ourselves to new things instead of placing too much value on old things.
Maybe it’s time to finally forgive the unforgivable and love the unloveable
Maybe instead of seeking comfort, we should seek service.
Maybe instead of seeking a position, we should seek influence.
Maybe this should be a time of sowing so others can reap.
Maybe it’s time to dig wells from which we’ll never drink.
The Lost Prize