“Fulfilling God’s Plan for Our Aging Years”
Episode 6: Investing in Generations Following Us
Instead of dwelling on our past, God calls us to focus on what He is doing in our lives right now too. When we do that, we pour our lives into generations following us, just as Psalm 71 says. One of the greatest services we can provide for the generations coming after us is to tell them how much we love them and how special they are to our lives. In this episode, we'll discuss how to do that, even if they act as if they don't want it.
Dr Randy Hess: 0:08
Hello, everyone, welcome to the finishing well podcast, where we encourage seasoned believers to find meaningful ways to impact their world, for the kingdom of God. I'm Randy Hess. And I'm with the founder of finishing well, ministries, how Hobbico. Anyhow, Good day to you today.
Dr Hal Habecker: 0:29
A great day to you too, Randy, it's great to see you. Again. It's great to be with you. It's great to interact with you over this kind of medium. I feel like I'm a duck out of water. I mean, I'm not the highest tech person in the world. And to do these podcasts is kind of stretching me in a whole new way. And I'm glad you glad to do this with you. And I'm glad for our listeners to be with us today.
Dr Randy Hess: 0:54
I feel the same way how but I feel like we are. We're learning as we go.
Dr Hal Habecker: 1:01
It's fun, isn't it? Randy? I love is. So today, Randy, we want to pick up on the fourth essentials. The fourth essential, you know, we're talking to the six essentials of finishing well, you gotta grow, you gotta connect, you gotta love and today's invest. By the way, you can find all of this on our website, teaching in detail on all of these subjects. But we want to just keep these in front of us, I keep them in front of myself every day. So today, we want to explore invest. And let me introduce this in a simple way to thoughts, we will invest in generations following us. Now, let me tell you how this came to me. A few years ago, I did my mother's memorial service. She died at the age of 96. And I would say for 2025 years back all the years I was a pastor process live with my mom, my dad died when I was young. She said how when when I go to heaven, I want you to teach or preach my memorial service on Psalm 71. So that intrigued me and I would say two or three decades ago, you know, when I was probably in my 50s, early 50s. There, I started thinking about Psalm 71. And I came across a verse that has marked my life. And I'm thinking here, you know, habecker, God's setting you up to do what you're doing. Because this verse has to do with finishing well, let me just quote it for you real quick. Oh, God, you have taught me from my youth. And I still, at my age now parenthesis, still declare your wondrous deeds. I often tell older people, the best thing we can do is talk about what God's doing in our lives. I mean, it's, it's really don't talk about the old days, talk to your kids now about what God is doing in your life now in COVID-19, or whatever's going on in your life. So then the psalmist continues, even when I'm old and gray, oh, God, don't forsake me. You know, that's the challenge in life, you know, things happen and you feel isolated, the aging process happens and you feel isolated. So don't don't forsake me when I'm old and gray. Until there are two things until I declare your strength to this generation. That's the generation coming behind you, and the generations yet to come. So, you know, if I'm following God faithfully, I am pouring my life into generations following me. And depending where I'm at, I can even pour my life into generations still ahead of me. But I've become very conscious of the value of the family, the value of grandparents, parents, kids, grandkids, great grandkids. Randy, you and I know a friend. I think he has 17 great grandchildren right now. He's in a group that we have, right? So, you know, I want to focus we need to focus our lives on generations coming behind us. That's the theme of today's podcast.
Dr Randy Hess: 4:24
Well, I'm glad you said that, how just make sure we understand that investing is not a financial program. Investing can be financial, but investing is about other people. And when you talk about investing in people you're talking about, are giving some of yourself to them giving in some form or fashion to them to build them up. Is that Is that correct?
Dr Hal Habecker: 4:52
Yeah, that really is correct. Let me make a quick link to our third podcast. The podcasts on the third essential the one previous to This one in John 15, Jesus says, I've called you friends because I've told you everything that is in my heart. That's a radical verse to me in investing in those coming behind me. Am I talking? am I sharing? Am I reaching into my own heart and letting my adult kids know what is in my heart? Let me give you just cases example. I'm aging. You know, I've aged you just like everybody else. I watch those ahead of me, I watch those around me. Do I talk to my kids about what I'm experiencing? as I age? What are the challenges I have? Where does God work in my life? Where are my weaknesses? Where do I need to trust him more? Am I processing that? And do I process my own fears? And the things I struggle with? With my three adult kids? You know, I think it's one of the great things we can do in investing, sharing our lives with others. So I mean, that's a hard, that's a hard thing we can do as we age.
Dr Randy Hess: 6:14
Let me say the hard thing, it's a meaningful thing, correct? Yeah.
Dr Hal Habecker: 6:18
A very real illustration of what happens in our lives.
Dr Randy Hess: 6:23
Yes. And so how do I have an excuse here, though, and in in my head, working around in my head, that I would like to be able to, quote unquote, invest, I'd like to be able to give, I'd like to be able to provide something to others, but I have nothing how that's there for them to take, no matter where it's I have nothing to offer. So they're not interested in in in me and what I have to offer, and they're not going to take it. If I've got that message. Jumping and bumping around in my head. Is there a way for me to move past that? And just go ahead and give it give it a shot anyway?
Dr Hal Habecker: 7:13
That's a good question ready? Because many of us as we age feel like younger generations are not that interested in what we think we have to offer. I think it's a fascinating question, it's, it really leads back into what we just said in the previous podcast about love. God loves us unconditionally. I don't bring anything to him. And he wants to continue to tell me how valuable I am to him, just because I may. Okay, now, you know, if we feel as aging people, we need to dump our wisdom on those younger than us. I want to say that's not the way it works. I want to say the best thing I can do for my adult kids, for others, like them, and generations following Vicki and me in our sphere of influence, is to tell them how much we love them, how special they are, how much we pray for them. Now I am watching their lives. I know the kinds of things they're going through. I know their heart aches, I know their challenges, you know, Vicki, and I've been there. But you know, I like to remind ourselves, that the world that our adult kids are rearing their families in is different than the world, Vicki and I reared our kids. So one of the best things I can do we can do as parents of adult kids is pay attention to what our kids are experiencing, to pray for them, to encourage them and to tell them we love them, and how good of a job they are doing and paying attention to God and dealing with our world. And then we can ask questions along the way. Well, how are you dealing with this? You know, your world is different than my world. Can you tell me about your world? I mean, I'm, I honestly my daughters or my daughter in California is rearing four kids. And they're all zooming. I mean, nobody's in school, her homes different, her life's different. You know, I want to say, Sweetheart, I love you tell me about the stress that you're under in your home. Because I want to pray for you. I want to love you. I want to invest my life into what you're doing. So that you're in a better position to do what God has called you to do in your family, and with your husband and in your home and in your community. Because I care about you, I want to see you succeed. And I don't know actually how you live in your world because I'm not there. I know how I'm in my world. So I share both of those things. And I want to encourage her and those in her generation following me to catch a glimpse of How much we love them? How much were their cheerleaders, and how much God wants to do the same thing in their world as he did in our world? That makes sense?
Dr Randy Hess: 10:07
Oh, that's pretty. To me, that resonates quite quite a bit how because I think, in the family, as I, as you think about yours, as I think about mine, that's a good place to start this thinking process about how I can make a difference to other people is, knowing what's going on in my family, and how and where I can maybe encourage them through challenging times difficult situations. And, and, and maybe even help them to come to their own conclusion about helping other people. You mentioned a term how a minute ago, sphere of influence and your own sphere of influence in your wife's sphere of influence? What do you mean by that? Do you have a sphere of influence? Good question. Everybody have one?
Dr Hal Habecker: 11:02
Let me just, I think it happens every day around us. You know, who are the people you're around in your church? Now, you may not be going to church, Vic and IR. There's limited involvement there. But who are the people there? Who are the people that I see there in my network? They're in my sphere of influence, who are the people that aren't coming? Because they're fearful of COVID. They may be older, they may be younger, they may have little kids and they don't want their kids? Am I sensitive to them? So that's my sphere of influence. I have a brand new neighbor. You know, interestingly, she has a little six year old daughter, and all kinds of new things are clicking in my sphere of influence with her and her daughter, because she has moved into my neighborhood. I have a new neighbor across the back alley, two houses down who I've gotten to know. So all of a sudden, these people are clicking, I have discovered, this guy is a former Presbyterian Church in America PCA Pastor, I had no idea he was there. So we just stopped talking, we started ties going down the alley the other day and said, hey, you know, we've never chat chatted, and it's emerged into a wonderful friendship. So I want to say everywhere we go, there is this opportunity to invest my life in some way, a waitress in a restaurant, you know, how do we encourage them? I could give you all kinds of stories. But that's, I think that's what you do, Randy, the world is all around us.
Dr Randy Hess: 12:41
So so how would you say that my sphere of influence might be larger than I think it is. That our sphere of influence might even be wider than we imagine it is. And that in the way we handle other people, and the way we visit with them and the way we contact them the way we interact with them the way we respond to them. Do you think we're actually influencing them?
Dr Hal Habecker: 13:15
Well, we can, again, you know, I following Jesus is my mission in life. So I searched his life I listened to how he lived, listen to what He taught. So I'm thinking of the story of the Good Samaritan. I mean, you could take any one of Jesus miracles, you know, that good Samaritan had no idea, his sphere of influence that day when he started on his business trip going from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And he meets a man on that trip, who is broken, and he helps him and he d allows this man in need to interrupt his life a great way. It changed the timing of his deal. You may have to miss your flight. If you're going to pay attention to somebody you may miss out on you may have to call somebody and say hey, I'm going to be late. I can't show up when I wanted to. Because God has put somebody in my life that I need to pay attention to. So we can give all kinds of examples but the best are the examples of of Jesus that he used and the stories of the Old Testament I think of the little servant girl who was in the home of naman, you know, the commander of the Army and Army, the enemies of Israel got interrupted his life and in her little life, the captain of the enemies of Israel was there for her to influence in her sphere of influence. So you know, it goes on. I mean, you have no idea what God's gonna do for your life. But the key and this, this fourth essential is really focusing on people in your sphere of influence. People coming behind you and will you pour your life Sending them is critically important.
Dr Randy Hess: 15:05
And you never know that sometimes that a kind word or a offer to meet are offered to help offer to assist in some form or fashion. Just reaching out and even in a short very short time connecting with somebody at a little bit deeper level might leave a lasting impact. Am I correct? While
Dr Hal Habecker: 15:32
you are correct, Randy, you're so correct. And let me just, this is so important to me. I have to share experience. I just that happened Saturday for me, Vicki and I have a good friend who died of a long battle with cancer. He was in his early 90s And I officiated his graveside service, very different. I've been involved with their family for 45 years. What the widow wanted at that graveside service, we talked about this. And she said, You know, I'd like you to open up the service to any of the grandkids, to say anything about their grandfather. So I opened the service for the prayer word of Scripture and just asked for that. And one of the things that one of those grandkids said, on Saturday afternoon at this grave site, it was a it was a nice day, and we enjoyed sitting outside and the service was an hour plus, as people shared. One of those grands kids said, you know, whenever I went to my grandparents home, I knew that I was loved and accepted. And I knew that I would feel that. And whenever I was in troubled times, I would always find my way back to their house, because I knew that their home, and their relationship was a safe place. Because they had seen their grandfather and grandmother love each other faithfully, serve others faithfully give their lives to their family. So I think of this fourth essential I would invest my life in generations following me. You know, starting right in your home, you know, the best thing you can do is pour your life out for your kids, your grandkids, your great grandkids and stay focused on them. Does that make sense? Randy
Dr Randy Hess: 17:32
does how does? How is it? Is it also possible for me to invest in the younger generation people who aren't in my family and make a difference there?
Dr Hal Habecker: 17:45
Well, Randy, I'm going to put it back on you for this one. Absolutely. I think that's what we do as a church. You know, if you looked at Acts 217, Peter quotes Joel 228, in his message at Pentecost, and he says your young men will see visions your young man, your young women will see visions and your old men will dream dreams. Everywhere you see the church everywhere you see God, there's multiple generations. So Randy, tell us a little bit I know you've done this in your church, you you have really tried to craft a mentoring program where older guys are an older women are pouring their lives into younger people talk about that for a bit.
Dr Randy Hess: 18:27
I'll call the idea that struck me given that I have been fortunate enough to have an ongoing Coffee Klatch or if your coffee meeting relationship with a number of guys in my life, and that I've come across in the last numerous years, I thought maybe other guys in my age or around my age at the church, the church I go to would like to try to do something like that. So all I did was proposed that we tried to do a round robin meeting with 12 Senior gentlemen and 12 younger generation guys to meet for coffee once a month. So each month, a different duo, if you will, would meet and the idea of but behind that was that perhaps the younger generation man would enjoy some time just picking the brain up or just listening and talking with the the older Gen. But at the same time, the reverse would be true. And and everybody that I talked with that I got involved in it jumped at it how they thought that was an idea that they wanted to try and we started off and it worked well. And there was a lot of positive going on but given that 2020 kind of became the year of COVID 19. That became a stretch to be able to continue that process for the seniors and for the younger Gen who were concerned about just getting together. And so, the process itself struggled a little bit. But the idea continues on that that's probably something we need to do more of, is get older generation people find a way to mix and match them together, not necessarily choosing personalities that fit with each other, but just choosing people who are interested in meeting somebody from a younger generation and choosing younger generation guys who are interested in meeting somebody from an older generation to get together casually for coffee, talk about their lives in an hour, so to speak. And then if it continues as a interest on both parties that they continue following up with that coffee and having kind of a mentoring, if you will relationship where the older gentleman will be pouring into a little bit. His experiences his background, his knowledge into the younger generation, gentlemen, that's it how in a nutshell,
Dr Hal Habecker: 21:30
I get great, Randy, is a great illustration, I think the church ought to be about that. Now, let me kind of wrap up this conversation with just my own personal experience. My experience has led me into this investor your life and generations coming behind you. As I think back across my life, I would not be where I am personally. Without older people who have encouraged me, and poured their lives into me, I'd say I could do an hour message. I'm just going through a list of people who have poured their lives into me down through the years beginning and high school up through this day, personally. And they've changed my life. And the best thing I can do to those people say thank you. Well, I want to say that the best, the best thing I can do is say thank you. But the second best thing I can do is follow their example, and pour my life into others coming behind me, starting with my family, but not limiting to them. I think of all these people who have influenced me, I wasn't a part of their family at all. But they have poured their lives into me. And it is made all the difference in the world. I'm indebted to these men and women who have poured their lives into me, helping me to become the man the person, the dad, the friend that I am. I am not a self made man by any stretch. None of us are. God has worked in our lives through other people. And the best gift we can give back to him is do the same for them as well.
Dr Randy Hess: 23:20
So whether they knew it or not, they were investing in you, weren't they?
Dr Hal Habecker: 23:25
Well, they were they were professors in seminary presidents of seminary, college coaches, friends that God has brought into my life. You know, and the best thing I have to close with this as we age, can you imagine the people that God is still going to bring into your life to encourage you? And can you believe the people God is going to bring into your life for you to encourage them? I mean, it's the best thing about aging it's the best thing about life. God has all kinds of surprises for himself that's
Dr Randy Hess: 23:57
an awesome thought out thank you.
Dr Hal Habecker: 23:59
Well I just hope that this has been an engaging conversation to you as you've listened to see the potential and to dream of all God has yet to do through your life with this fourth essential and investing now you can listen to this podcast again or pass it on go to our website finishing well ministries dot o RG forward slash podcasts, and send us a note or whatever. Contact us and we'd love to hear you talk about this or this or another idea and we really appreciate you joining in on this and may God bless you and encourage you greatly.