Thinking About the Future, Everyday

“Anybody who tells you that, you know, you’re on the back nine or starting to get to the end when you’re 55 years old, don’t believe them because that turned out to be the start of the best time in my professional life. There’s no question about it.”

Joe Torre, Undeniable with Joe Buck, 8.31.16

For all of my classmates from the Decatur High School class of 1979, congratulations! According to former New York Yankee Manager Joe Torre, your best days lay ahead of you. Don’t gear up for retirement just yet. Your greatest contribution is just around the corner!

As a pastor one of my greatest struggles was to answer the question of purpose for men who were home-bound in the late years of their lives. I usually went with the explanation of being a mentor to younger men whom they had built a relationship with, and also what it was to be an intercessor (someone who prayes) for needs presented to them through people in the church. The problem with those pursuits is that most older men didn’t realize the importance of pouring into the lives of younger men until they are home-bound. Then it’s too late. People who complain about purpose later in life may also have been guilty of complaining about a younger generation earlier in life. Also the thought of being a prayer warrior for a lot of fellows is, sadly and frankly, women’s work. “Besides,” one fellow in my church said as I explained that there are great books on prayer written about men, “that’s what happens when a man actually prays consistently, they write books about them praying as if it’s a novelty.”

Of course this isn’t true, but a real reality for many.

After our laughter had subsided, his point was that there would be no books written about him, nor younger men he would be mentoring. In fact, I probably would not have allowed my boys to gain wisdom from this guy as I didn’t want them to go backwards in their spiritual development. Yet perhaps that is the point. If the work we do later in life can be the most significant of our lives, what are we doing now to make that a reality? Regardless of our present season in life, the reality is everyday we are building towards a future.

Questions to think about: Baring health concerns, what do I need to do now that will lead into what I will become later? If I want to be an influence in the lives of others, what relationships do I need to invest in now to make that possible? What attitude and actions do I need to engage myself in to move into significance in my future?

Recommendation for “people of a certain age”: Halftime by Bob Buford.

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