Monday I joined the 50 ranks. Whatever that’s supposed to feel like, I’m pretty sure I don’t. By age 50, you’d think I’d feel pretty sure about just about everything. One thing I am most assured of is I’m sure I don’t.
Yet in a reflective mode, I challenged myself to list what I’m most assured of about life after living 50 years. These five things topped the list:
- God is Right-He’s right about himself, and he’s certainly right about me. He’s right about good and evil, love and hate, holiness and pride, the present and the future, and power and humility. The depth of my submission to his “rightness” is the depth of my contentment and peace.
- There’s More Than This-Although there’s a lot to enjoy about God’s earth, life is more than what I can see, taste, hear, touch, and feel. An eternal perspective reveals the “more” and keeps the visible in its proper priority.
- Less is More-Specifically less noise, less doing, less collecting of stuff replaced by more listening, more being, and more margin.
- Giving and Receiving are both important-Yes, Paul mentions in Acts that givers are more blessed. I don’t disagree with that. My caveat is that I can’t just keep on giving and giving and resist receiving. I have to receive in order to give. Both are important.
- A godly life results in no regrets-“I want no regrets when the horses come for me.” -Margaret Becker
What are you most assured of?
Since Saturday I’ve had quite a few interactions with people giving me reason to ponder this question: How is it some people die happy and others don’t?
I say since Saturday because that’s the day some of our church family gathered to remember the life of Buna Brannon. She lived a full life. And I’m not just referring to her age of 84. Buna lived a full life because she chose to live it to its fullest.
By the time I met Mrs. Buna, she was already retired, 76 years of age. Nothing kept her down. Not illness. Not emotions. Not people. She made a choice to live life how she wanted, not how others wanted. And the foundation of that choice was her faith, how she understood God wanted her to live. And because of that faith, she lived happily, joyfully, actively, and extremely generously. And that’s also how she died. Until days before her living was done, she gave to others and thought of others which brought her joy, peace, and purpose. She had lived life in such a way that she was more than ready to leave it as she lived it.
However you live is probably how you’re going to die. It’s sad to watch people live unlike how they probably want to die. Angry. Depressed. Judging. Discontent. Proud. Buna made the choice to live with joy, with hard work, with purpose, and with love. And that’s what everyone will remember about her. She died how she lived.
If you want to die happily, live happily.
If you want to die sacrificially, live sacrificially.
If you want to die peacefully, live peacefully.
If you want to die regretless, live regretless.
The choice is clearly all yours.
Who knew a book on business could be so rich? Well, I can tell you that Larry Burkett’s book Business by the Book is.
For example, in chapter 6, Keeping Vows, he gives five simple rules that could not only be applied to good business practice but also good personal living practice. He developed them to avoid making commitments he might later regret:
- When in Doubt, Say No
- Keep a “Year at a Glance” Calendar
- Prioritize the Day
- Don’t Book Too Far Ahead
- Use a Written Contract
Here are two quotes from the chapter that seem to support the need for these rules:
- Situational ethics have so shaped our society that even God’s people have lost the concept of absolutes when it comes to keeping our word.
- The probability of a misunderstanding in a written agreement has been calculated at 20%, more or less. The probability of a misunderstanding in a verbal agreement is nearly 100%!