Recalibration: A Guide to Transitioning Well Through Life’s Stages
Mountain Brook Community Church | October 29, 2021
Richard Simmons’ Introduction:
I think Ken Boa needs little introduction. He’s been here; in this venue, this will be the third time we’ve met and every message that he’s shared has really just been very powerful. And if you were there, I think you know that. He is president of Reflections Ministry in Atlanta and we just call him Ken Boa, but I don’t think we realize how well-educated this man is. He’s Dr. Boa. He’s got a PhD from NYU and then he’s got a doctorate also in philosophy from Oxford. So, he’s quite the scholar. I didn’t have time this morning, I’ve got a long, I guess you’d call it resume, with all of his books and I didn’t have time to count all the books that he’s written, I would say 40 to 50 or maybe more. Seventy? Excuse me. Phil must have counted them because there’s a lot of them.
I started even looking at some of the titles, some really fascinating titles of books, obviously, which I haven’t read, but anyway, you might want to look into that. You know, I was trying to think how to really describe him and, you know, I was fortunate enough in 1976, I’m showing my age, I’ll be 68 in December, but I had the opportunity to be in Atlanta to hear Dr. Francis Schaeffer speak, and Schaeffer reminds me a lot of Ken or Ken reminds me of Schaeffer and this is what I came away with–Francis Schaeffer was one of the most brilliant well-educated people Christian scholars to ever live. And Ken reminds me a lot of him. And what I mean by that is what struck me when I came away from that meeting was that Dr. Schaeffer was not only a scholar and very well-educated and very articulate, but he was very Godly, and he was very humble. And I think that’s kind of a good way to describe Ken Boa. One thing he does have that Schaeffer didn’t have; he’s got a really good sense of humor. So, I think y’all will appreciate his words. We’re going to pick up kind of on this theme of finishing strong. I really love the title of this morning’s presentation. It’s “Re-calibrate: A Guide to Transitioning Through Life’s Stages”. Is this going to be a book? Is it coming out soon?
Ken Boa: In fact, the manuscript’s due at the end of this month. So, you’re going to hear it for the first time. I’m going to give you some overviews that no one else has seen yet.
Richard: Well, we look forward to getting that. That’s pretty much all I’m going to say about Ken. Ken Boa, why don’t you come on up?
Dr. Ken Boa:
I put this up just at the beginning, because I want us to have an understanding of how we are to live in these dark and strange times. And this perspective, we all know about the men of Issachar who understood the times and knew what they needed to do. But this is another approach from the New Testament where it tells us that we need to prove ourselves to be blameless and innocent children of God, above reproach. That is your character and you and I are to live in a certain way where we have a quality of life that demands an explanation, that there’s something unassailable about us, and that objections and complaints don’t stick, because we know our culture. We live in a midst of a perverse and crooked generation. If that was true of Rome in the first century, it’s even more true now.
Unprecedented, kind of like a perfect storm of many things, a cultural madness where people are now going nuts because they’ve been mediaized into imbecility in new forms, of whereby people now are disconnected from any source of reason and of rationality, but also from actual experience so that they can now identify whatever they wish to be, and people don’t even object to that. So, it’s new forms of manifest absurdities, and they are no longer in a real world, but in a digital place, dark places where they’re no longer connected with reality and buying into narratives that are so discordant that they lead not to human flourishing, but to human isolation, to darkness, and to separation. And sadly, the church is often buying into it. And it’s a context in which we need to be people who are manifestly different. So, we need to understand our culture, but not get so granular, so caught up into it that we’re imitating it, not wringing our hands in despair, but rather, understanding it, but living in such a way that we soar above that culture. And so, we need to understand our calling. We are lights in the world, and we appear as lights who hold fast the Word of life, and that light dispels the darkness, to have a sense of urgency without anxiety is the concept and living in the light of the coming of Christ. So, living each day in light of that day, having two days in your calendar; this day, which is all you’re ever going to have, and the day of Christ and to live with an eternal perspective. And that to me is a way of living. So having peace and perspective and poise. So, I like to use this. I was talking with Tim about this metaphor that I like to use of riding the thermals of the spirit of God in such a way that I stay in the eye of the hurricane.
And that means that therefore, I can choose the way of gratitude and contentment this day, in spite of the absurdities of this world, because I’m no longer defined by the world, but by the Word and that I understand who and Whose I am, because I am defined by the truth and the unchanging truth of the world that God is defining is telling me that’s coming because you and I are eternal beings and that we are actually in this earthbound experience, but we’re pilgrims and sojourners and strangers and aliens. So how do we live? How do we cultivate an eternal perspective? But that’s not why you came to this meeting, but I just wanted to show you that I want you to live today with a sense of peace, gratitude, and contentment. Gratitude and contentment are choices. You get to choose. How many men do you know choose gratitude and contentment?
How many men do you know who live in the precious present, which is all they ever have, and to choose to live with urgency, but without anxiety and who live with an eternal perspective in this temporal arena and who understand the brevity of the window that we have, and it is short? And yet, instead of being in despair, they actually say, we have been granted a window of opportunity. What can I do with it? And that’s really related to our topic though, in many ways, of re-calibration.
So, I’m part of a ministry then that is called KenBoa.org, that is the website. Although we’re going to happily change it to Reflections.org. I don’t want to be some kind of an avatar. One of the themes that we’re about is the issue of excellence. A lot of people can have functional excellence and they’re relational failures.
And the whole theme is to live from the inside out. And that’s what we’re about. So, the spiritual excellence leads to moral excellence and relational and then functional excellence. But let’s move on to where we were going. And that’s going to be this whole theme of the book that’s called Re-calibrate: A Guide to Transitioning Through Life’s Stages with Eternity in View.
And our outline is basically perspective. First of all, what gives meaning to life? And we want to leave a Godly legacy. I want us to see that death is not actually a thing to be dismissed. We’re in the land of the dying and we’re heading for the land of the living. It’s amazing. I just went to my sister’s celebration of her life. And although they claim that she was in a better place, they wanted her to stay with them in the land of the dying. They didn’t want her to be there. They failed to grasp that because they don’t have an eternal perspective. They are living as if this is all there is.
Treasuring. How do we treasure God and people? What gives meaning to life and moving from career to calling, to seeing your job as more than a job, it’s a vocation, a calling. Vocare means really that, a calling, and to see your work then as an arena of influence, and to have a better vision of what retirement is about. So, perspective, what gives meaning, purpose, and so, this is the outline of this book, and this is the first time that anyone’s ever seen this manuscript actually. So, I’m going to do something with you. I’m going to take you through some of the highlights of this manuscript, and that’s the way I’m going to teach it.
Who knows whether you’ll like it or not, but knowing is what it’s about, then being. What gives direction? What’s God’s universal purpose and His unique purpose for you? Because many men live without a sense of purpose and then they just ditz along through the course of their life. And they pick up purpose in an indirect way from that of others.
And then finally, practice. So you go from perspective, cause you’ve got to have an eternal perspective in this temporal arena, to what’s my purpose. And then how do I wisely invest my life? And so, the basic areas of, we usually think of time, talent, and treasure, but there’s also truth in relationships as various areas of stewardship, but to realize how can you live so that the best is yet to come. And that to me is critical. And then we have our hands on toolkit for spirit-led re-calibration.
That’s half the book; there’s a toolkit to give you specific tools to help you go through that. So, Part A: re-calibrating through the seasons of life. And I’ve done something that I’ve not seen done before, that this book, you see, I don’t know if InterVarsity press is going to accept it, but I’ve got these red parts you see that are highlighted. You see the bold red, and the net of the book is found in the red bits. So, if you want to read the book in a very short course of time, you could read the whole book, essentially in maybe less than an hour by just reading the red bits. And if you did that, and now what I’ve done with the red bits, I choose the best of the red bits and the best of the red bits, I’ve just marked here, you see. And that’s how I’m going take you through it. I’ve never done this before. You’re the first to see it. I’m going to net it out for you and just pull out what I think are the essential things for people to think about.
So, the book is, the manuscript is due, as I say, we’re close to having it complete, but essentially then, God is ever seeking to transfer our affections and hopes from the temporal to the eternal. It’s a huge theme, that we need to live with an eternal perspective, because you’re a pilgrim, you’re a sojourner, you’re an alien, you’re a stranger, you’re an exile, you’re a wanderer. That’s a lot of metaphors, isn’t it? What does that tell you? You’re not home yet. You are in a soul-forming world and you’re not home. And unless you buy into that, you’re going to be missing really the point of life.
And so, as we see that we’re saying that we think everyone should go through a process of re-calibration on a regular basis whether you’re young or old, you need to review and re-calibrate of looking the backward look, the inward look, the outward look, and the forward look. And we’ll talk about what that looks like. We’ve given you a toolkit with 20 tools to help you process this. Very practical. In fact, the most important part about the book is the toolkit. And so, I’m going to tell you about what that looks like, so that when you use this, this will tell you how to leave a legacy, how to write documents, and how to do various things that are of a very practical nature. How to take a half day retreat with God at any time of the walk. How do you spend that time if you were to do that?
So, most people, even if they want to do it, don’t know how to do it. So, this is going to walk you through that and give you a toolkit to do so. So many people wish they had more consciously processed the big transitions they went through when they occurred so that they could be more conscious of that and gained more wisdom. In this, we’re trying to guide people in doing just that. The concept then is we’re not to presume in the future, but to take opportunities, advantage of those, that God gives us today. Never presume on tomorrow but the idea is that we must be filled not with fear or regret. And my view is this. When you’ve made mistakes, God can redeem the years the locust has eaten. It’s true, but it doesn’t mean that it gives me a free pass to live for myself and make poor choices earlier in my life. He may or may not redeem that, but He wants me to live with integrity before Him. And he wants me to live in such a way that I use my time wisely and well.
Now it’s true. You and I will learn far more from our setbacks and our failures than we will from our successes. Isn’t that unpleasant? But it is true. That’s the reality of it. That’s the nature of reality. But the fact is though, that God invites us to learn from that and gain wisdom. And so, too many people I’ve found, and I’ve seen this again and again, over a lot of years, they basically bow out of the game. They drop out and they bench themselves and they watch the game from the bleachers. And they stop being players. And I don’t know why that happens.
They lose the cutting edge of intentionality and passion. Something happens where they no longer have a practical passion. So, what perspective gives us meaning in life? I claim that we need right living if we’re going to make a difference now and become generational links. Every one of you wants to be, in one way or another, a generational link. Every one of you wants to have mattered. Every one of you wants your life to have counted; to have had an effect on other people, and it shouldn’t be just limited to biology, to DNA. It may not be just your family, but other people whose lives you’ve touched, so that whether you have children or not, you know that you’re here to have some impact on other people. And fame is not a matter of how well known you are. It’s not a matter of name recognition, but rather, it’s a matter of impact that you have on another person’s life. So, it’s a matter then of being a connection in people’s lives. And that fame before God is what really matters all the way around.
So, I want you to lead your rest of your life, however long or short, in a way that will please the one Whose opinion and applause will matter most because it’s the only way to live without heavy regret and remorse. And so many people I know have come to the end of their lives and they’ve lived with remorse and regret. I don’t want you to be that way, but there are certain ways and certain things we can do to prevent that from happening. So how do we leave a Godly legacy? Life is brief and fragile.
Every day is precious. Tomorrow you’re not guaranteed. So live each day as if it could be the last, because how do you know that it won’t be the last? So again, I’m pulling out certain themes, but the key to legacy on earth is a desire to honor the Creator who binds every generation together. And it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t honor the individual, and we’re not lost in a sea of collectivity, but the conclusion from scripture of preoccupation with just preserving your memories isn’t the issue. You must become preoccupied more and more with honoring Him because to know Him and to pursue Him and to desire to know Him becomes, and this is the real key, because if I have Him, I have all things in Him. So this is why we commend His works, His mighty acts. The more you’re consumed with knowing Jesus and becoming like Him, the simpler life becomes, and the more authenticity, the more presence you have, the more your life then becomes something that becomes a fragrance, a special aroma that people see that you are, in fact, a living epistle. So that legacy, as I say, goes far beyond DNA in the Bible. The reality is that He wants you to have an impact on the lives of other people in a way that you cannot quantify, you can’t calculate, you cannot really grasp or control.
Now, it’s intriguing because we often wait or think it’s too late, so, on the one hand, when we’re younger, we tend to overemphasize the future. We think that we’re going to get around to doing the things that really matter, that’ll make an impact, long-term, later, after we’re done with the immediate business of working to make money, support ourselves, and our family, then, as we age, we tend to underestimate our older selves and think our best years are behind us. Intriguing how that is. So how many people miss out on the opportunities that they have, which is only in the present tense? But the greatest opportunity to make an impact in the next generations often comes toward the end of life.
So, you need to see this and recognize, it’s not a question of your virility or any of these things. It’s a question of the opportunity that God’s wiring you and drawing you and crafting a life in you to make you become more and more intimate with His Son and the more you do that, He wants you to become a person who becomes a transmitter into another generation of a quality of life, that He is pursuing you and wanting you to become like Him. He has the power to multiply the effect of any small effort made with an attitude of submission to Him. And so, I see it this way.
And from another point of view, I see that God allows us to be in a world where we see death. We see a reminder, and death is a reminder. In fact, the coffin is an evangelist. It speaks far more eloquently to us than the cradle. That’s why people hate to go to funerals because it reminds them. There was an Anglican minister, and he was asked then what happens to you? What, when you die, what’s going to happen to you? And he said, well, I suppose I should go to heaven and have eternal bliss, but I really wish you wouldn’t bring up such depressing topics. What’s wrong with that picture? You see, on the one hand, he claims that he wants to go to heaven. And the other hand, he really doesn’t want to go there. What’s the problem? Soee, his focus is only on earth.
You see, if you want to be wise, treat things according to their true value. How do you do that? Treat the temporal as if it’s temporal. Teat the eternal as if its eternal. People have a problem with their math. You see, there’s a mathematical problem. They are holding on to things that are destined to disappear. Are they not? They’re clinging to things that they are, and their identity is based upon stuff, and we’re holding on, don’t take it away, and God has to pry it away, finger by finger, have you ever had this happen to you? You want this thing so hard, and God has almost the pain of one finger after another and another and another until finally, you open it up, and with that pain, what do you discover is revealed? A bunch of tinsel or tinfoil. And He has to take that. Then He can take it out and put the gem of what He really wanted you to have. So, against your desire, He had to force you to let loose of that junk you were trying to hold on to so He could give you the diamond of His grace and say, hold it with a loose grip because you see, the things in this earth are transitory. The things I’m offering you are going to last forever, but you see, most people do not have an eternal perspective. They’re not preparing themselves, but it doesn’t take any faith to believe that one out of one dies. I’ve done the math. It’s pretty impressive. The statistics really are impressive. It takes no faith to believe that you’re going to only be here for a few more decades, max.
So then, why is it that people want to cling to their possessions? They give with a cold hand. They don’t want to give with a warm hand, for example, but even then, they want to try to control it from beyond the grave you see, with all these things. No, if you’re giving while you’re living, then you’re knowing where it’s going. But people are afraid to do that because again, they’re so focused on the immediate that they don’t grasp that you are in a soul forming world. You are an amphibious being. You’re a spiritual being, having this earthbound embodied experience. And it’s difficult for us because we haven’t trained ourselves. We’re so immersed in the world that we haven’t allowed the Word to define us and to show us who and Whose we really are. And that’s a terrible blunder. So, it’s a mathematical blunder. Treat things according to the true value. The wisest thing you can do. And that to me is really what it tells us again, to recognize and to realize that that’s what life’s about.
So, in this world then, He’s inviting us to see that the things of life are going to be ultimately, they are going to be lost and they’re going to be going, and I think when I was here last time, I think I showed you something that was along this line. This Far Side cartoon, where we see this guy, and this is obviously a widow. And she sees this piano going up and this TV set, even the golf clubs, and the dog. And so, she says, ah, it’s George, he’s taking it with him. You see, you can’t take it with you. And I say, you never see a U-Haul behind a hearse, or do you?
Somebody decided, I’m going to figure out how many days will I have left if I were to live 75 years. He figured I’ll split the difference. As to man, his years are 70 years or due to strength, 80. So, he split the difference and figured, okay, I’ve got 75 years and he figured out, okay, what does it look like if I have that? So, here’s what you’ve got then. Each one of these blocks (shows illustration) is a hundred days, you see. That’s a hundred days. It would be 27,300 days then, in dots. So, he was born the same year I was evidently because he was born in ‘45, which would have meant that he would have died in 2020 in that case. That’s an interesting perspective, isn’t it?
I’m living on borrowed time. You all are on borrowed time. Every day is a gift. Understand, never presume on the future is a wise thing. When as a child, I laughed and wept, time crept. When as a youth, I dreamed and talked, time walked. When I became a full-grown man, time ran. When older still, I daily grew, time flew. Soon shall I find in traveling on, time gone. That can be depressing, or it can be illuminating. It’s your call. I just see it as kind of a way of looking at this. I think this whole thing here, these four bottles of life (shows illustration); it’s both funny and depressing at the same time, you see. So, we can laugh at it, but you know, it’s also chilling. But we look at this and if we don’t take this into serious account, we’re making a serious blunder, so, I’m just suggesting here that this is again a reality. And you and I are called to reckon with that reality and see that we are in the land of the dying and being prepared for the land of the living. And we are being prepared to actually ask this question of what do we long for? What do you seek more than anything else? That’s a good question. That was Jesus’ first question. What do you seek? Great question, because will determine what you find. What do you long for more than anything else?
And then I do a riff on Joshua before the elders of the people at the end of his life. When he said, choose you this day, whom you will serve, whether it be the gods of Egypt or the gods of the Canaanites, but as for me and my house, what does he say? We will serve the Lord. Let me do a change on that. Choose you this day whom you will fear. I promise if it’s not God you fear most, it’ll be something else. Everyone has a fear object, because what you fear most will define and will show you what you love most and what you love most will show what you fear most. You see, we all have a fear object. And so, we need to recognize then, that I find many people these days, believers, seem to have more fear of COVID than they have of God. It’s astonishing to me that they live in fear, and they live in trepidation and they’re not really having a sense of openness before the living God and it’s a tragedy to see that. If we do not fear the Lord more than anything else, we will fear something in the world more than anything else.
And what we fear most will reveal what we love most. Thus, in my view, we should fear God’s disappointment and displeasure and long for His affirmative words, well done. That’s the words you want to hear, that’s the words you want to live for, the words you want to long for, and to me, that’s really the essence of this.
Clearly, I’m not going to get through this outline, but death is actually a second birth canal. And what I mean by that is this. I use this image of “womb world” and this idea of the fact that you were in your mother’s womb at some time, you don’t remember it, but when you were floating upside down in your mother’s womb, you, if someone knocked on the womb and said, ‘hey, you want out of here?’ What would you have said, if you could even speak? You’d have said, ‘You’re kidding me? I got everything I need. I got air conditioning. All my needs are met’ and so forth. But even if you could have spoken, you would have said, what do you mean ‘out of here? There’s nothing. There’s no outta here. This is the whole world.’ But the reality is, if you’d stayed in womb world, you would have died because you were never meant to stay there. You were only being prepared for bios, biological life. And that is not what you were intended for, because the whole idea of bios is a different thing also, because you have bios, is biological life, but you’re being prepared in this world for Zoe. So, when you died, actually when you, you can’t be in two worlds at once, you had to die to womb world, the birth canal was a death. It was a death to that world and a birth to this larger, wider world.
And now you’re in a second womb, and this womb, bigger womb, there’s stuff that you couldn’t have imagined in womb world that you’re doing now. And by the same token, you’re being prepared for another world. And in this larger world, we’re being prepared for Zoe, which is eternal life. So, nine months to prepare you for biological life, but then in this world, we’re being prepared for eternal, that eternal life that He’s preparing for us. And therefore, what we call death is not actually death. It’s a second birth canal. So, I want you to see then we’re not in the land of the living, going to the land of the dying. We’re being prepared for the land of the living. So, you must come to see how brief, how ephemeral, how transitory this earthbound life is. To come to see it that way is really to grasp that this is what we’re dealing with, spiritual life, and God is preparing us for home. And His desire for us is to transfer our affections and for us to become people who have such an eternal perspective, that we become generational links and become sages, we become people who can convey that truth and whose quality of life becomes such that we’re living epistles, that we become a fragrance of life to life. That we become people whose lives demand an explanation. We become people who have credibility in our spheres of influence and then manifest that wherever we are. And that to me, is a very critical motif for us to follow and pursue.
So those are just a couple of few themes. Based upon our time, let me just jump ahead to some other themes here. So that which endures; treasure that which endures over that which is passing away because we’re straddling two worlds right now. And if you do not grasp that, you’re going to miss the purpose and point of life. You need to treasure the things that God has had and relationships are the currency of heaven. And so, God is preparing you for that. And therefore, every person you meet is an encounter with an eternal being and you must treasure them. And where we begin to see this, then, instead of using people to get your needs met, we instead are called in Christ to serve people because we begin to grasp ultimately who and Whose we are. We can see this whole idea of loving God and loving ourselves in this manner, an eternal perspective that we can see in grasping that – let me see if I can find my little chart here – of loving God completely and ourselves correctly and others compassionately. Let me see if I can find it here. There it is right there. This is the whole issue. If you begin to grasp, allow God to define you, the more you are defined by Who He is, to love the Lord your God completely. What does that mean? To love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, then you begin to love yourself correctly, and I mean by that to choose to see yourself as God sees you in spite of your feelings and experiences to the contrary. The more you allow Him to define you, because most people are defined by the world’s view, not by the Word’s view. You get my idea here? So, if you’re defined by the world, you’ll be insecure. You’ll need to milk relationships to get your needs met. But if you’re defined by the Word and allow Him to define you, then you realize you are an adopted child. You are beloved and called of Him. The more you grasp who and Whose you are in Him, the more secure you are.
And the more you realize then, instead of approaching relationships out of deficiency, you now are secure, you’re significant, you’re satisfied, and you approach relationships so that you actually serve people. So, you can love people unconditionally even when there is no reciprocity, it may hurt, but you’re not defined by their opinions and expectations, but rather by the living God Who loves you. And so, as a result, you become a person who is able to walk in this world with composure and clarity, and you approach relationships out of the overflow of Christ in you. And that makes you a person who has great significance indeed. So that concept to me is extremely important. This concept then of loving others and relationships are the currency of Heaven.
And I define Biblical love is the steady intention of your will toward another person’s highest good. And you can choose to do that. So that that’s what gives you a power of being a person who loves effectively and ultimately then to pursue people. There are no little people, no little places, no inconsequential acts of love. And that’s why I need to take those opportunities that God gives me and allow those things to happen as he chooses to do that. That whole idea of Chronos versus Kairos, that there are lots of things you put in your calendar that aren’t going to take place. Some take place, but even then, most of your day is going to be full of things that you didn’t expect. That’s what I call Kairos. And Kairos is opportunity time that you didn’t plan. And most of them will be construed as interruptions. What about if you begin to see that they’re invitations? And so, when you realize that, actually you modify your Chronos according to God’s Kairos. This day, this very day, there’ll be a lot of things that will come into your life that you didn’t plan on, and you have to adapt and allow the Spirit of God to allow those things to work in your life. And you see them as invitations, you adapt your Chronos to His Kairos, and you’ll find that the most important things you do this very day for the kingdom of God will be not on your calendar. And then you’ll begin to realize what we call interruptions are invitations.
You notice Jesus never turned one down, no matter who they were; the last, the least, and the lost, so that if you want to be a person who really walks with Jesus and manifests that quality of life, you can be a person who can be an agent of that kind of quality and that quality of change.
We’re running out of time. I want to jump ahead to something I’m going to show you. I’m going to jump ahead to the toolkit here. So how we invest our lives and so forth, stewarding time and talent and treasure, but one of the themes I want to show you here is this toolkit. So, it was many things. I knew I couldn’t get through it all, but that’s fine. We had 19. I couldn’t stand having 19; that wouldn’t work. So, I added a 20th. So, we have a guide to a re-calibration retreat. We have 20 tools. One of them is how to put your affairs in order with meaning and purpose. How to steward your time. What are you leaving behind? Creating a legacy journal or a document, writing life letters, even writing your own legacy, your own eulogy. And so, what does it mean to be a sage and so forth. So, here’s a guide to a re-calibration retreat and here’s how you’d prepare for it. And you’d have the backward look and how to use your time there. And then you’d have the forward look and how you use your time there for the specific time. It gives you very deep, detailed things, because most people wouldn’t know how to do it if they were to do it. Then the forward look, and then the upward look, and then, making it annual. And so, the backward look, the upward look, the inward look, the forward look; so, very practical kinds of tools to actually equip and empower and encourage you to actually be able to do these kinds of things, tools to equip you and to assess where you are in your own area, your work-life balance assessment, and rethinking retirement. Are you a sage or on the road to becoming one? Discovering your unique purposes and so forth.
And so, putting your affairs in order with meaning and purpose, as well as another one, putting your financial affairs in order, and then writing letters to express who was I in terms of what I valued and so forth. So, it’s a practical toolkit that’s designed to give people a sense of encouragement and destiny and understanding of where their life is meant to be.
So, with that in mind, I wanted to see if we had any thoughts or questions, specific things that would be…it’s a lot of stuff. I can’t teach a whole book in one session, you do understand this, but I do hope that you get the gist, that what I’m saying is never regard retirement as an end in itself. It’s just another opportunity. You don’t retire from your calling. You retire maybe from a career, but if anything, we must live in such a way that the best is yet to come.
And even when we get older and our capacities are diminished, you can still pray for people, serve people, and love them. And so, we always have a call while we are alive. We have an opportunity to do something that’ll have an eternal impact in this temporal arena. We’re in a soul-forming world and His pattern, His desire, is to make you become more and more in your practice who you already are in the heavenly places. If you knew you only had one year to live, would you live differently than you are? So, ask yourself this hard question. If you had a certainty that you had but one fixed year to live, would you live differently? And the degree to which it would be different is the degree to which you’re not living compatibly consistently with a Biblical vision, you see? Because how do you know that you would live? You’d be crazy to believe that you have a guaranteed one year. You can’t guarantee one month or a day. So, it’s wise and prudent for us to live as if this is the only day I’ve got. Live every today as if this is going to be the day in which I’m going to see Jesus. And if I did that, I’d be wise. Two days in your calendar; this day and that day. And if I do that way, I’d be very wise.
Remember then, death is not actually what we call death at all. It’s a second birth canal. And that’s really to recognize we are not in the land of the living going to the land of the dying. We are actually, we are in the land of the dying going into the land of the living and we have a home. So, let’s live in such a way that we hear the best words you can ever hear. What are they? Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master. To enter into that so that we hear that accolade, and let’s live in such a way that we are afraid, have a fear of the divine displeasure and the divine disappointment. To live in such a way that we long to hear His pleasure. That would be a wise and prudent way to live, wouldn’t it?
Let me close in prayer. Our Father, we thank You for Your grace, Your goodness, Your glory. Thank You for Jesus Who has loved us, wooed us, pursued us, called us, the sacred romancer of our soul. And I pray that we would pursue Him by Your grace. Give us a holy aspiration to long for Him more than any other good and in doing so, then become more and more like Him, and in doing that, then to become a fragrance of life to life, to become a living epistle, to become a person who is a pointer to grace and to life and to a person who becomes a sage that is an expression of what it means to be a person who lives the life of the age to come, even in this present darkness. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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