When I’m sixty-four

This year I’ll join all the other leading-edge Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) in turning sixty-four.  It’s ironic and disconcerting that the Beatles song When I’m Sixty-Four about getting “old and loosing my hair many years from now” is now, and my reality.   How could the class of ’64 now be 64?  I have thought a lot about this, and prayed about it too.  I’ve never seen myself retiring, I am too much of a type A, goal driven person for that.  And more importantly as a believer in Jesus with a clear sense of calling I cannot imagine not being actively involved in serving His purposes for my life.  I’ll admit though that sometimes the challenges and changes engendered by the aging process can make staying focused on God’s purposes like navigating in a fog.  Then, when doubt and worry roll in, it’s tempting to start singing “Will you still be sending me a valentine, birthday greeting, bottle of wine?” rather than the praises of God.

A metaphor that has been a great reference point for me and guiding light as I negotiate my way through the fog associated with this new season in my life is the idea of the fourth quarter. The fourth and last quarter of a game usually presents itself as the most important one and is charged with expectation and potential. It’s when the game is won or lost. This fourth quarter epiphany has deeply impacted me. It fuels my passion to maximize the benefit from the previous quarters in my life and make my final the strongest and most productive ever!

Last week during my daily Bible reading time I came across one of those verses that jump off the page and zap you between the eyes.  It was a verse from Psalm 71:18  “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”  Now that is a great prayer for when you’re sixty-four!  I mean that is a verse that a fourth quarter baby boomer can really sink their gums into!  When I read it I said “Yes! That is what the fourth quarter is really all about!”  It’s about orienting my life’s focus and investments of time, talent and treasure toward leaving a legacy for the next generation – when I’m sixty-four and beyond!

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