Job 42:12 “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part…”
How do you plan to spend the rest of your life? That was a question posed at a conference we recently attended. I had to push the pause button and think about it. It was a relevant question, not only because I have obviously entered my later years, but because living with intention seems to be timely no matter what stage of life we’re in.
If I were to construct a “bucket list,” there’s no lack of ideas…I’d like to visit a dear friend in California…travel back to all the National Parks where we’ve vacationed…experience another trip to London…write a devotional book…eat a Ruth’s Chris steak…. But I don’t think that’s what the speaker had in mind. I believe he was challenging us to address our most important priorities and commit to pursuing them. So here are a few things I would put on my “Christian bucket list”….
First, I want to spend the rest of my life knowing God more. Paul said he considered “everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:8) and I think he knew a few things about priorities. Practically, this develops through compliance with God’s will. Nothing increases my knowledge of him more than obedience. Every time I say yes to his direction, I learn something more about his character…attributes like kindness, patience, justice…generosity…
Which leads me to my next item…to “excel in this grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7). Few things communicate God’s pleasure to me as clearly as when I’m giving. I don’t want to be stingy with my money, talents, time or even gratitude. I don’t want to look back on my life and wish I would have given more-in any area.
Finally, my bucket list includes loving people more…my family and friends, but also those who don’t like me or disagree with me. I’m becoming more convinced that “the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6). It’s a waste of time to nurse petty resentments or feed silly grudges. We have access to the inexhaustible love of God and I don’t want to waste a drop of it.
So that’s where the question has taken me. It’s the first time I’ve ever considered that maybe the last chapters in my life could actually be better than the first ones. How about you?
How do you plan to spend the rest of your life?