“Fulfilling God’s Plan for Our Aging Years”
Episode 42: What blocks us from fulfilling God's plan in our lives as we age?
In this episode, Hal and Randy pitch 6 different things that aging people think or believe that actually hold them back from Finishing Well. What's holding you back? Is there something you feel is preventing you from doing what God is asking of you? Find out in this episode of Finishing Well!
Hal Habecker: 0:08
It's great to have you with us today on the finishing well, ministries podcast. Randy Hess, my friend and compatriot in our ministry here is with me. And we're talking today about what keeps us from finishing well, in our last podcast, we talked about some of the successes and basics that we're learning and the value of finishing well. But what keeps us from being the persons God wants us to be by we're going to put a verse with it, I put Hebrews 12 one. Let's set aside the encumbrances, the weights and the sins that easily be set us. Let's figure out what keeps us from finishing well keeps us from growing strongly in our Christian faith in these aging years, get rid of it, and make changes. And let's keep growing for Christ. Let's keep having the impact. Let's keep pressing as Paul encouraged us exhorted us to end flippin street. So Randy, I've got five things and you have six. So I'm going to punt it to you first. And let's just go back and forth and reflect with our listeners and with each other on what it is that keeps us from being the person's men, women, husbands, wives, adults, whatever keeps us from being what God calls us to be in these aging years. So here putting it to you, Randy, you wanted to kick us off?
Randy Hess: 1:46
Good morning, how? Yeah, I think it's a good topic for us to hit back and forth on as well. And my view of it was that there are things that we have bumped into, in our ministry that we could say, people grasp onto or they carry with them, that might hold them back from finishing well. And so my thinking about that is, when I'm being held back or holding myself back from finishing well, I can overcome that easily by just confronting my own beliefs, my own assumptions, and maybe my own attitude. So most of mine fall into the category, how of that is not it's not impossible for me, some of them might feel that way. But that is not appropriate for me to finish. Well, if I might put it that way. So my first one is, hey, I'm already saved. And I'm a good Christian. I know, the Lord knows. I go to church every week. And I contribute to my church in many different ways. I don't think that God expects much more of someone like me. And I say to that situation, or that, that feeling that person has that. You know what, that's probably all true, that you do what you think you are expected to do. All we're suggesting is, there might be a door that you could open, that you just haven't cracked open yet. And look inside and see what you think. And that door happens to be a door that allows you to finish well, in a assurance in an assured way that you will be achieving your purpose for this period in your life. That's my first one. How is I'm already there?
Hal Habecker: 4:01
What do I need to change? I mean, the Lord is happy with me, and I'm happy with me. So let's keep going that way. Yeah. My first one is this what one of the things that keeps us back is not having a vision for this season of my life. You know, when I talk to churches, it's amazing to see their response to this challenge. It's almost as if they're grateful that somebody has given them permission to think that this season is really an essential season their life, they've not been challenged with it. So it's the lack of vision for this season of my life. It's the lack of spiritual growth for this season of my life. And nobody's kind of exhorted me and that's that's another thing. But who are your friends who are encouraging you to address the importance of this season as much as any season in the past? Goes back to my idea God has set us up for this season, but do not have a vision for It doesn't lead to anything different. That's kind of like what you were talking about, well, why should I change anything? Well, I'll tell you why you should change something because God has wired you for this season in a unique way. That's different from any other previous season. So not having a vision, you know, not fixing your eyes on why God has you here for such a time as this. I think it's critically essential. Yep. So I'll put it back to you, Randy, what's next that
Randy Hess: 5:28
covers the first one I said, and it also covers the second one, how and that vision issue, if you want to call it that, the vision challenge is, is clearly out there. But I will add to the first one I had with this, you know, I've done all the I need to do already. I've listed decent life. I have a family. I've been a contributor. I've been a volunteer, I've raised my kids and provided financially to the church. I've worked a job long and hard. And I've retired. I think I deserve something different from what you're talking about, guys, come on. I deserve this leisure, nothing on my brain much. Easy going time. And it sounds like you're trying to almost like you're trying to put me to work or something. And, and so I just don't see it. I see. Using my time for myself and my spouse, maybe but i don't i don't see doing other stuff. Sorry.
Hal Habecker: 6:42
Randy, that fits in you know, there's a sociological group that is measured today. amongst Christians, they are called the DUNS d o n. E. S, they are done with church. I was busy with a man this week, a friend of mine that they their churches, Sunday morning church. And I challenged him, I said you can't do this. You got to be with people. You have to rub shoulders with people, people need to challenge you, you need to challenge them. But there's a growing number of Christians across this country who are simply done with church, they said I've had done my task, I'm finished. So that would lead to my second one, you know, conformity to this world's idea of retirement. You know, in this world's idea of retirement, I mean, retirement means you're finished, you withdraw from the war, you withdraw from being in the fray, you might say, you quit your job, like an athlete, your jersey is retired to the rafters or put on the wall of the stadium or whatever, you know, so when you retire, you're done. Well done. From what? Well, you're done from your work. And now it's your time to play the world says, but you're not done from God's perspective. So conformity to the world's idea of retirement keeps us from finishing well, dough back to you. Let's keep talking about this. This is good.
Randy Hess: 8:14
I think there's a group how that says, you know, I really honestly heard you guys, but I don't understand what else I can do. I mean, yeah, I see lots of needs, and lots, lots of challenges with my family, maybe are in my family. In my church, I see challenges with my friends, I see challenges that neighbors have. But you know, I don't see how or understand, I guess how I can do more guys, I just don't understand that. I don't want to interfere too much in other people's lives. So that's it, how it's it's a it's a presumption about what is correct for me in my behavior.
Hal Habecker: 9:06
And people are satisfied with that. Is that what you're saying? Yep. So I mean, that's reminds me of our third essential, loving others, our second essential connecting with others. You know, Hebrews 1024, let's consider one another to provoke to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together as is the habit of some so who's encouraging you provoking you that hey, you do have more to offer and so you we agitate each other to keep growing a third one that I want to talk about that is a limiting factor. Problems that keep me focused on myself. You know, there may be physical Brian, you shared a little bit I maybe it'd be worthwhile sharing it a whole pile GUEST my journey of just having foot surgery this summer, you know, physical challenges keep you absorbed with yourself. And there's something right about that I have to get well, I have to take time, right. But there's so many people, sometimes you're absorbed with things that are limiting in their very nature, whether they're physical. You go through family challenges, marriage challenges, adult kid challenges, grandkid challenges, you go through spiritual challenges, you go through disappointments in life. And at each of those challenges, there is the temptation to withdraw, I, you know, I need to take a step back. And there's something right about that, to write your ship, so to speak. But there's something wrong if it keeps you out of the forefront of being engaged for it with Christ in our world. So there are problems that keep me focused on myself and I need to stay challenged on that.
Randy Hess: 11:06
panel, I have one that fits right in with that. So I'll just stay at it, we can move on from that topic. But mine just said, you know, I feel I can't really do much for others right now. Because I can barely take care of myself. And my health needs at this point. And as you said, it's important for us as we have those challenges to focus on them and take care of them. So we are focusing on ourselves. And as we're focusing on ourselves as it gets a little bit tougher to turn that vision around to other people and, and support or, or help them in some way. So this person that we're talking about says I love the idea of finishing well, but it's for other people to do i I'm sorry, my, my situation won't allow me to take on something like that. I think that is our challenge, is it not?
Hal Habecker: 12:11
Well, that's one of our challenges in life. And as I stated in an earlier podcast, you know, I think what happens in our senior years is no different than what happens at any year, and any season of our life previous, we are there for each other. The third essential is to love one another and care for one another as Christ loves and cares for us. So there are stages in life that we go through, where if it weren't for the help, and encouragement and love from other people speaking into our lives, bringing us meals, lifting our arms up, like Moses needed his arms lifted up by Aaron and her, we would feel a doomed. I mean, I just I think of the people this summer who have encouraged me, during the month or two months, right after my surgery, you know, I really struggled. And there were about five friends who came around me, they called me They encouraged me and said, how we want to break get you through this. So while there are valid stages that we feel we got nothing to offer, and we're so absorbed. But that's where the love of other people comes in. And I think it's amazing, due to another loss that I see the loss of I mean, the physical loss, the death of a spouse, the death of kids, the death of your peers. You know, I know aging people who say, you know, they're No, I'm the only one of my aging network that's still living, all my friends have died. You know, they're all gone to heaven. So what do I do now, and it's very discouraging, I think in losses in life, to see your own value and what you can contribute, because you're absorbed with these losses. And it's a real, it's a real truth in life, you know, we do lose each other, eventually, all of us will lose our spouse, or they will lose their spouse if I die first. But you know, you want to encourage people, God still has a purpose for your life. I think of my mother. She lived over 44 decades after the death of my father. And she had a real purpose for living in every one of those years. And I always applaud her. And she's a real teacher. She was she's with the Lord now, but she did it through losses, but that keeps us from growing many times. So back to you, Randy for your next thought.
Randy Hess: 14:42
Well, a quick one. How are you guys? With this ministry? It's fine, but you guys expect too much of someone like me. You know, I I can't become a pastor at my age and I can't go out and start some ministry at my Hmm, even if I wanted to. So it sounds like that's what you're wanting me to do. That's how I'm interpreting what you're talking about, and what we tried to help that person and other people who feel that way see how is that we are not talking about becoming a pastor, or starting a ministry, we are simply talking about showing love to other people, are we? It's as simple as that.
Hal Habecker: 15:31
It really is being the person that God has called us to be. Not and what is it, I don't know what it is for you. I mean, I don't know what it is for other people. But I do know that God has a plan for our lives. And it's a detailed plan. And we need to press on and kind of understand it, and renew our minds to what God wants for us in this life.
Randy Hess: 15:58
And I think that's the point is it not is what we are really asking them to do out. If we're, if somebody says you're asking me to do too much, all we're asking you to do is open your mind, open your mind to the idea that there is a plan for you. And, and pray about it. And think about it. And if you need to visit with other people about it. But you will, that door will the if you crack it open, it will open. And you will see what God's plan is for you. We believe that the Holy Spirit will come when you call to help you think this through.
Hal Habecker: 16:40
You know, I'll give you an example and respond to that how I encourage people. Jesus has one mandate for us. He says in Matthew 2819, as you go about your life in whatever season you're in, make disciples, teaching them baptizing them. Let me tell you, that's a mandate for every believer, every man every whim, woman, no matter what your ages, we are in a mission to disciple others. So I like to ask ag people who you disciple who you pouring your life into, that's a biblical mandate. It's not a finishing well, ministries mandate. And every one of us can do that. And finishing our ministries is just mission ministry that God has raised up to help us do the things which he commanded us, you know, and help each other do them. So that's the value of finishing well, ministries, and it speaks to people like that. Well, let me get get to my last one, my fifth one, and then I'll put it back to you again, Randy. You know, what keeps us from finishing? Well, it is not following the archaeology of my life. You say? What do you mean by the archaeology of your life? Well, I went through halftime years ago, with Bob Buford. And one of the things they teach us, and it's in our workbook, and the six essentials of finishing ministries, what has God wired you to do all of your life? What are your
Randy Hess: 18:18
skills? What are your gifts?
Hal Habecker: 18:22
What did you do? When you were parenting kids? Where did you work? What did you learn? What how does it all fit together? Now you take that and ask yourselves, what is God wanting me to do at this season in my life, where he's wanting you and me to capitalize and use all the gifts he has already built into our lives? And in that sense, taking a fresh look at how all that God has already wired into your life, in your decades of experience and wisdom and energy. Now, how does that translate into what he's continuing to call you to do through using your giftedness in these years? And I think that's critically important. So he not only uses your giftedness, but the the continuing things. He's teaching you new every day in your life. You know, I'm learning more today than I think I ever have in my life. But I'm using the gifts and things that he has given me. But if you're not following the archaeology of your life, if you just say this is my time, and I'm not going to keep doing what I did, previous and that I'm not going to use those gifts. I'm done. You know, as we talked about, then you don't have a vision for finishing. Well. That makes sense. Randy,
Randy Hess: 19:42
who does and fits right in with what my final one is now. That is that this is a great message for people younger and richer than I am. So go get them. Good luck with that. And you know, is that very point that no is for you? And what Ever state you're in whatever condition you're in, is still for you. This is not about you giving more and more and more to something, it's not about you. Having the energy to do tons of new stuff is it's not about that at all. It's about you in your state that you are in, opening your mind, pressing on with that. Looking around, pressing on with that, finding interest in people's needs, whatever they might be, in your family, with your spouse, with your friends, with your church, whatever they might be, and then pressing on and seeing if there's a way you can make a difference with those. That's what it really is.
Hal Habecker: 20:55
Ready as we wrap this up here today, I think of something at least it's humorous in my mind, in our previous podcast, you used the vision of finishing well as kind of a bugle call for what God wants for us. And it made me think even as we talk about this now made me think of a bugle waking people up in the morning. And I think of that song, it's time to get up, it's time to get up, it's time to get up in the morning, it's time to get up, it's time to get up time to get up in the morning members. Do well. So finishing up Ministries is a beautiful call to aging people. And we could sing it this way, it's time to wake up, it's time to wake up to your significance of your senior years. Because God will use them more than you would have ever dreamed. And my my conviction is and I really believe this is true. God has more to do in our last years than he ever had to do in our previous years. You know, so you look at young people and God has a plan for your life. But I look at my fellow seniors God has a plan for our lives in the impact of our lives can be greater than it has ever been in the past. So this has been great talking about this. Randy, thank you so much.
Randy Hess: 22:15
Grab hold right how grab hold of our hands and come on board. Let's
Hal Habecker: 22:19
do and hang on for dear life because God has a purpose for our lives. And my prayer for you as you listen to this and for myself and those whose lives our life and is an investment into. Let's be aware. Let's wake up. And let's call others to follow Jesus in the senior years. May God bless you as you live that way yourselves and may God bless us and let's keep doing it together. Thanks. God bless you and have a great day.