Most people are unprepared and they are searching for meaning in midlife.  (Book by Po Bronson-What should I do with my life? and Rick Warren-The purpose Driven Life).  Finishing well-is about interviews conducted about heroes of this next life.  They may not be smarter than the others, but the main difference between them and the nonheroes is that they think aheadYou are the protagonist of your own life.

If you don’t take the risks in life, you will always wonder if it was something you should have pursued.  It’s often surprising how unexpected changes of direction can lead us back to the things we’re supposed to discover.  Curiosity is very important, because it involves thinking outside yourself.  The quest for success allows no rest.  Our sense of accomplishment seems to evaporate with the achievement of each goal, and immediately the need arises to find another goal.  People feel meaningless if they don’t have either heaven for a context or a meaningful set of relationships, or a meaningful purpose in life that might relate to their work.  If we don’t have some larger context than just the dreary day-to-day facts of life, negative feelings take over our lives, and that will eventually lead to some kind of crash.

Prayer changes things, and it really does both emotional and physical things.  We sometimes think a lot of people would be horrified to thing that God actually hears and acts on their prayers.  You have to surrender yourself to this other good before you can achieve the kind of significance you’re talking about.  The other point is that you don’t have to worry about that now.  If you set your sights on attaining that final step of surrender and give yourself up to being a blessing to others, which is the source of significance, then I think the rest will come naturally.  Christians should be able to do that naturally, but frankly they don’t know how.  Profession of belief does not carry the action, Only REAL belief carries action.  The way we think about the work we are doing is that even if we don’t get rewards on earth, there will be reward in heaven.

People need a rabbit that won’t break down (Pg. 16).   John 8:51, Jesus says, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.’  What this means is that for the person who is dying, once they step through they’re not going to have an experience of death.  The beautiful thing about significance is that we resign the outcomes to God, and we let a power beyond ourselves take care of them.  Success is focused on your action, your control, your outcomes, whereas significance is found in a much larger context.

Luke 12 says, “To whom much is give, much is expected.”  One would think about that in the context of finances.  What’s expected goes far beyond finances.  Much is expected in using your time, your talent, and your abilities for God’s purposes.”  We are just attempting to learn more about what God is doing in the world, and he directs our footsteps along the way.  God is saying that how you live your life is what really matters.  If you have eyes to see and ears to hear, as Jesus said it, then God lets you know you’re his.  And the sense of his presence flowing through your spirit, soul, and body is really awesome.    We think about the things we always know we should do but don’t because we think we’ve got more time.

We think that most of us are so noisy that we can’t hear God’s will.  We’re so busy talking, and listening to ourselves, and listening to other people’s advice that we don’t get quiet long enough to let God speak to us, and know that God is speaking to us.  Consequently, we end up very unhappy.  God will pull you back in a minute.  Sometimes that little human in you takes control, and you think that you can do it all by yourself, and then God pulls you right back.  Find work that isn’t work at all and it’s the meaning that makes the difference, not the money.

Reconnect the practical, day-to-day decisions we’re making with the bigger picture.  *Really great answers tend to close things down, while really great questions open things up (SW).  You’ve got to pour yourself into a larger, overriding goal that will occupy your time and talents.  There is a sharp distinction between reactive retirement and creative retirement.  Reactive retirement is buying into the whole notion that your active time on this planet is really up after about sixty or so.  Reactive retirement means to begin a new life after today, retire from what you dislike doing and focus your attention on what you love doing.

“If you hire the best and brightest, give them some mentoring and training, and then let them do their thing, that environment can lead to tremendous growth.”  If you study the Bible or the philosophical roots of freedom and democracy, you’ll find a compelling case for equality and our duty to do something about it.  It’s not an abstraction.  A knowing exits beyond our conscious ability to articulate.

A marriage requires work, perseverance, and attention, just like a job.  We spend so much time trying to be successful in business, and so little time trying to be successful in our marriage or with our kids.  Proverbs 13:18 says, “Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored.”

On a scale of 1 to 100 let’s give God 100. Give Mother Teresa a 90, and an ax murderer 5, a decent person one who tries to help others a 75.  Now the special thing about Christianity is that God sent Jesus to make up the difference between us and 100.  If we accept Jesus as our savior, no matter what our past has been, He rids us of our sins and brings us to 100.  (Pg. 72 Prayer)

If people see their best years behind them, then they’re probably not going to finish very well, because you can’t finish well when you’re going backward.  Success is about getting; significance is all about giving back.    To what am I surrendering?  The answer is simple:  You’re surrendering to a vision that is bigger than your own.  You’re surrendering to the idea that you have been designed with a purpose and potential that you will never fulfill if you keep on trying to do it all your own way.  Ultimately, you’re surrendering to God’s plan for your life.

Pathfinders, Models are hard to find.  It’s a tremendous challenge to find the essence of what’s going to be most important and fulfilling in these years ahead.  *The fruit of my work grows on other people’s trees (SW).  Joy is a deep seated desire to have a relationship with the person who made us.  Joy has more to do with being in alignment with your task or assignment from God, and being in a right relationship with him and your significant others, than with your sense of personal gratification or happiness.

Life during the ‘retirement years’ needs to be free of stresses we experienced during our working life.  The tasks we undertake during these years need to be meaningful work that benefits other people, or (and this is critical) another person, and it has to be fun.  Matthew 10:39-You must lose your life in order to gain your life.  (Book-Stephen Covey-The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People).  Proverbs 3:5-Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  The writer of Hebrews says, By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called…..And went out, not knowing where he was going.

When we are not doing what we’re supposed to be doing, it’s like writing with the wrong hand.  You can do it, and after awhile you get pretty good at it, but it’s always awkward.  But when you find the sweet spot-what you were created to do-it’s like putting the pen back in the hand where it belongs.  In order to reorient your life you must stop being trapped in a life of busyness, pursuing things that will not last at the expense of things that you value more.  *Build a life, not a resume (SW).  When someone comes to you with a totally new subject that forces you to learn something fresh and different, that’s exciting.

Most men can’t mentor their own son’s, they are too close.  They can teach and encourage their sons, but they can help other men in a more objective way.  The thing that surfaces the most is failure, not in the knowledge of Scripture but in the failing to apply Scripture in your life.  It is the feeling that because we know the Word, we are living it.  Hebrews 13, we are told to obey those who have authority over us because they care for our soul.  The point is that there has to be somebody to ask the significant questions, to hold us accountable.  *If you stop learning today, you’ll stop growing tomorrow (SW). Your career is what you get paid to do; your calling is what you’re made to do.  Lord, help me not to die before I die. 

Repurpose ourselves for a more fulfilling life before we come to the end of the curve.  In repurposing, you’ve found what’s in the box-your core-and you employ your skills to express your core in action.  What do you want to be remembered for?  That is the question we really need to ask ourselves when we begin to focus on Life II.  Great things often come from humble beginnings.

Lord, I can’t do anything about yesterday, and tomorrow may not come.  Let me be your man today.   Many people try to live in the past or the future, but we can only live in the present.  We’d have a lot less stress in our lives if we could just learn to live one day at a time.  Life themes, Trust, Integrity, and Responsibility, We can see the Lord’s hand making things happen that are way beyond our scope.  *Service to others is the rent we pay for the room we have on earth (SW).  There’s a need for self-created context where we’re not wasting energy battling the fact that we’re in somebody else’s context.

How we use what we’ve been given in everyday life in contact with others and meeting their needs shows our commitment to God.  We are all tested for fruitfulness and stewardship.  God rewards the risk takers.  There is a downside to timidity as well as an upside to taking a risk.  God demands primary loyalty.  God has given me certain talents, and I think it is incumbent on me to use them to the best of my ability, for as long as I’m able.  We are supposed to go out and be the salt and leaven in society-to be agents of change.  Many Christians don’t get out of the box, we have a bunch of salty Christians salting each other, week after week, and they don’t get outside and do what they are supposed to do as the body of Christ in kingdom work being salt in society.  It’s not what we want to do, it’s GOD what do YOU want me to do.  There’s a lot more to life than just your temporary security.  You can hold onto something so long that you lose the chance to make a change.

Decisions we make in life must be prayed about, is it a risk?  Is it something you feel or thought of?    You must know that this is what God wants you to do, and if it’s not the right thing to do, then God will help us figure it out.  You never know who’s going to be watching what you do, which is obviously more important than what you say.  You can either surrender to Christ or you can fight against the problem and turn to things like overwork, drugs, alcohol, or whatever, as a crutch.

The strange thing about having your mortality with you on a regular basis is that it makes you very deliberate about what you embrace.  You become intensely focused on trying to find the things that are life-giving, and you embrace them and don’t let go.  What we do here is certainly important, and what recognition we may receive for our efforts here and now are gratifying.  But the next life is what really matters, when our accomplishments will be recognized and accounted for by our maker.

Just as resistance generates muscle, working through our worst experiences generates joy.  The challenges we encounter are no reason to quit the journey.  They provide occasions to seek wisdom and strength to continue.  If the thing before you is what God wants you to do, he will provide that strength.  If it’s not, he will show you another way.  Retirement isn’t in the Bible.  Life is a miracle, a precious commodity too valuable to waste.  When money stifles deeper values, it makes people cold, suspicious of others, and can rob them of any incentive they may have had to do more with their lives.

Honor God in all we do, help people develop, pursue excellence and grow profitably.  Work has not been an arduous task; it has always been a joy.  It’s serving God and serving others, and love every minute of it.  The secret of life is doing good work, being with good people, and learning to give and receive love.

The two secrets to finishing well: Maintain continuity between what you do before you retire and what you do afterward.  Another is having a sense that you have a project or task to pursue in your latter years, so that you =don’t just drift into uselessness.  G.K. Chesterton, who said, “If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.  A lot of us need to know that.  If we insist on waiting for the perfect situation, we may never use the gifts or talents we’ve been given.”

A lot of people have such a hazy view of what awaits us after this life is over, they really don’t have a Technicolor faith, and life becomes gray for them at that point.