Do you ever feel like your life is half over and you haven’t accomplished anything substantial or what you’ve always wanted to? Do you feel as though you missed your chance at an opportunity or have regrets about a choice you made in the past? I’m asking these questions because I am very familiar with asking them of myself over the years. They can feel quite defeating and leave you with a sense of hopelessness if you let them. I know…
What I’ve come to realize, is that they are lies generated to keep us feeling down and defeated. So defeated, hoping that we give up. Wave the “white flag” of surrender to our dreams. These thoughts or voices in our heads are designed to cripple us and cause us to lose hope and our “gumption”. Gumption is defined as fortitude and determination. Actually, the enemy loves to get in our heads and cause confusion, hopelessness and fear to keep us from living out our God given destiny and purpose in life. The dreams and purpose God gives us are to help his children for His glory. The enemy knows how powerful these empowered people are in changing the world, so he has to use fear and hopelessness to keep them from giving God glory in helping others.
I had a similar feeling as I turned 50 this year and felt as if my time were gone to do anything substantial to fulfill my call or destiny. I remember specifically thinking…well, God, I figure I have another 25 years to serve you, we better get busy! The things that had been prophesied over my life seem pretty big and I have no idea how they could come to pass at this point in that relatively short amount of time. I should’ve started all of this in my 30s. I missed it and I will always be where I am right now.
Then, I met Gene.
Gene is a lovely, humble, 92 year old man. Though you would never know he is his age. He does wear hearing aids but that is it. His mind is sharp as a tack and he is very active. In fact, I think he drove to the meeting that morning to share breakfast together with a group of lovely, inspiring people.
I met Gene though an organization called First Place 4 Health. If you would like to lose weight &/or change some aspects of your lifestyle in a safe, friendly Christian atmosphere, here is their website First Place 4 Health. I had the opportunity to teach two sessions of First Place a couple of years earlier and had reconnected with a group that had I shadowed years before, which Gene was a part of, now meeting them at a breakfast we had planned.
I was the last of three of us to make it to the table, and as I was sitting down, I was told that Gene was just starting to talk about his experience on a recent mission trip he took to Mexico, returning home a week ago. So casually, just like that. In my head, I was feverously trying to compute what my friend just told me…Gene just got back from a mission trip in Mexico?? Is this possible? Maybe I’m misled about his age? Coffee please?!
I sure hope my face did not give my thoughts away. I settled in and began to listen intently to what Gene had to share. He did quite a bit of physical labor during that week away. He helped build an orphanage, which will house 10 boys and 10 girls when done. Eventually they assigned him to painting to give him a lighter load. We all chuckled.
When he was done sharing his adventures with us, I sat in awe of both him, his courage and our God. I felt convicted, in a good way. With God ALL things are possible after all. I sat back after starting to eat some breakfast and sipping my coffee and felt compelled to share my feelings of amazement with Gene. I looked at him and told him that his story has inspired me and that I was going to talk about him and his trip if that was ok with him. He so humbly chuckled and said, “well, sure that is fine. I just enjoy helping when I can”.
We all departed that day full of encouragement from our time of sharing with each other and gave each best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving. I then came home and in my kitchen, out of nowhere, I felt God speak to me saying, “remember when you said you only had 25 years to get all accomplished that has been prophesied over you? Well, looks like you could have another couple of decades!” I stood there and laughed and teared up.
None of us knows how long we have on this earth to love each other and fulfill our destinies. However, you may have many more years than you expect! Start dreaming again. Pull out your journal and remember the dreams you’ve dreamed of, prophesies over your life, and what you would truly like to accomplish. What’s your heart saying? God is the redeemer of time and opportunity when we give our dreams to him to help us accomplish them. He completes the work he started in us and put in our hearts. You still have time!
Just do it.. like my dear friend Gene.
Phil 4:6 “Be confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”