“Fulfilling God’s Plan for Our Aging Years”
Episode 45: Coffee and other things that may stunt your growth
Does coffee actually stunt your growth? Probably not. However, there are many things that can stunt your spiritual growth. Hal and Randy dive into the barriers elder Believers face that slow or stop us from growing spirutally with Jesus.
Randy Hess: 0:09
Greetings, folks, welcome to our finishing well podcast, podcast finishing well ministries. If you are 65 or older, we welcome you as part of our senior generation that we hope are listening. And if you're younger than that, guess what we welcome you just as much, whether older or younger, this is the spot where we discuss how we can all live our lives in a finishing well manner. So, we hope you will tune in and think through how you can live your life with purpose. I'm Randy Hess. And I'm pleased to be here with how habecker, the founder of finishing wealth ministries, and enjoy this day to day, the day that the Lord has made our you how great Randy, this is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it and grow in it. There you go. We're gonna grow today, aren't we? We are we are. So we're going to continue our discussion on growth. The first pillar of finishing well, growing, connecting, caring investing being available, and planning ahead those six and we want to keep drilling down on those, as we launch into the year 2022. And our past last podcast, we talked about the importance of growth
Hal Habecker: 1:32
in a positive way, what does God expect of us? So in the minutes that follow, I want to think about the hardships of life and how life in some ways and even our enemy, the devil keeps us from growing as Christians. We talked just briefly about how Jesus learned obedience from what he suffered. And one of the things about growth is there are always challenges, there are hardships in it. I mean, wherever you are, I mean learning to feed an infant, even learning how to breastfeed the first couple of days learning how to spoon feed, learning how to walk, I mean, how many times is a kid have to fall before he can walk or she can walk. I mean, there are illustrations all throughout life of hardships of learning. I want to read a quote to begin this discussion. It's from a Saint Francis Fen Alon. He's written a book on this. And I'm just going to read it very slowly. He says there is no growth without challenge. And there's no challenge without change. As we get older, many resists change, forgetting that without the challenge of change, we're in danger of deteriorating physically, mentally, and spiritually. Embrace the difficulties, embrace the difficult circumstances you find yourself in, even when you feel they will overwhelm you. allow God to mold you through the events, he allows to enter your life. This will make you flexible towards the will of God. The events of life are like a furnace for the heart, all your impurities are melted, and your old ways are lost. The intrusions that God sends, you will no doubt upset your plans and oppose all that you want. But they will chase you towards God. It's a powerful quote that has really become etched in my life because there are challenges and obstacles and growth all over the place. You know, whether it's in my own relationship with Jesus, my relationship, my wife, my relationship with kids, work, my understanding my body, the hardships that come you name it, there are hardships that come in life. And my attitude towards change and growth in the midst of every one of those things that happen is a test. Do I want to grow? I was in a group setting just Wednesday night with a group of people in a local church here. And one of the the gentleman said at the end of the session, that he thinks the reason we don't grow is because we don't want to do we get to a season our life and I don't want to grow, I don't want to push through the hardships. I don't want to understand a greater sense of what God's purpose is for me, and what that means for me personally in my relationship with him or even with others. And then a couple of illustrations here from quotes from people I've gathered through the years. And Randy lets that sit back and we can just interact with these before we go further. Lewis Sperry chafer, the founder and president of Dallas Seminary where I attended is saying to students when you stop steady and you're dead You know that's true in my own personal life. Do I want to keep reading the scriptures and growing in my relationship with Jesus? It takes time. He says, When you stop studying you're dead. Howard Hendricks said when your memories are more exciting than your dreams, you've begun to die. So what are you thinking about? What are you dreaming towards? Bill Gaither from Gaither music says, You never get old until your regrets take the place of your dreams. Henry Ford, the great inventor, anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or at anyone who keeps learning stays young. It is powerful illustrations. Mary Louise Rowan says the future belongs to the learning, not to the Learn Ed. And then the great philosopher, psychologist, psychologist Eric Hoffer has a wonderful statement. In times of in times of change, learners inherit the earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exist. I love that I think about older people and technology, one of the things that we have a hard time growing it is the latest technology. We asked our I asked our grandkids to teach me how to use my phone better or just saw my computer problems. You know, and I, I am I learning or am I have I learned and I'm not? I'm no longer equipped to live in this world. So those are some illustrations to start this discussion. Randy.
Randy Hess: 6:33
It's you know, there's lots of ways to maybe assume I know it all already. Because I've been through so so much, or I've lived so long, maybe. Alright, done all my studies. I've let's face it. This is not my first rodeo. This is not my second or third rodeo. I've been around. Okay. And having been around the horn, I think I know enough to get by. That would be my I mean, I think there's a and I'm not even criticizing here. I'm trying not to. I'm just saying I think there's a mindset out there hell, let's just call it an assumption. Not a decision, but an assumption that I think I've learned enough, I think I've done enough. I think I can just set our maybe, maybe maybe do other things besides just setting. But basically, I can just tune out a little bit from from people like you and me, or other people who are art are calling us to, to think through something else to think through things more carefully to think through things that I already know in a different way. What get out of here, I don't need that. Thank you very much. Bye. Don't let the door hit you. Anyway, I think there's a lot of assumptions that I already know enough. In, I guess I'm going to I am going to point the finger a little bit at people like me, my age. We're both seniors, how we're in our 70s we we feel like we've earned if you will a certain status that you're out there by by being able to be around right now. But also by having survived and made our way through life. In whatever way we've done it. So isn't that good enough? Thank you very much. That's a problem.
Hal Habecker: 8:59
I think it's one of the strategies Satan has. No you don't need to grow anymore. I've arrived. Of course, Jesus wants me to keep growing. As you talk, I mean, I My mind was drawn 1000 ways. And we could pursue this in hundreds of different ways. But you know, a huge one for me. I'll give you two illustrations that we could bounce off these and either way, one is living in a world of COVID. You know, do what is my position on COVID? And how do I respond? How do I help the church who's in this? How do I help different generations who see the world differently? Younger people generally have a different response than thinking about COVID than older people. You know, do I live in COVID with respect to a sense of fear? And do I hunker down? Do I live wisely and think about the choices and still venture out and fix You're out new ways to connect with people. Like, for example, if I'm hesitant to go out, and the best way to connect to zoom, do I reach a point where it's I'm tired to zoom? I don't want to zoom anymore. I'm burnt out as well. How are you going to continue to reach out? How are you going to continue to relate? How are you going to continue to deal with your fear? How are you going to pray? Are you going to attend church? Are you gonna? Are you going to, they say 20% of church members have stopped going to church because of COVID. You know, so you may stop going to church, but God doesn't want us to stop interacting with other people. So how are you going to do it now? How are you going to grow? Now, the other illustration that comes to me, as a parent, as a grandparent, you know, generations are different. Our children, our adult children don't think about the world in exactly the same way. I think about it. And they are growing up in an entirely different world. You look at how your adult kids discipline or how they think or what the decisions they're making, and you're thinking, in your own mind, golly, didn't I train them better? Maybe? Why are they the way they are? I may lament the changes. You know, we live in with grandkids who are growing up in a world technologically which is so different than the way I grew up as a kid 70 years ago, you know, there are differences. And I need to ask myself, do I want to grow in those differences, to be able to interact with my adult kids, and pray together and think together about the world they live in? And then do that even do the next generation with where my grandkids are? I mean, do I want to grow? Or do I want to say, I don't want to engage that world? I mean, I'm going to let my kids to the way they want to do it. And I'm going to sit back, how do we engage? Or do these differences? Disengage us from growing personally or growing? relationally?
Randy Hess: 11:57
I just think it's a hard thing to do. It's it, you know, what does it require? Now, for somebody to recognize first of all, and then begin to overcome their own obstacles? What does that take? Doesn't take? Prayer doesn't take a willingness to be open. A willingness to listen to the Lord, to tune in the Holy Spirit. What is it? It's not that you and I are preaching we know more than they do about their own life. We don't when begin to try, but we do see a lot of people. And you see, you're venturing out quite a bit. You're in amongst groups and crowds, I'd say, if not every day of the week, nearly every day. And I am I see quite a few myself. And I just think that we hear enough to hear that many, many people will question strongly. Why I need to do more right now. Or why I need to do anything different. Right now. They're very happy and satisfied. Thank you very much with where they are. Where they, how they've gotten there. Where they were, how they've got themselves set up. They're also very, maybe not happy but resigned, maybe to the bitterness and the anger and laziness in the selfishness that that they they exhibit. They're, you know, they're they're resigned to it. They're just saying, hey, that's just me. And, you know, don't be talking to me about about anything else. I'll deal with it. So our purpose is to share that we, we love you. And we we would love to help you. Unstick yourself. We're not going to unstick you. You're going to have to do it with the Lord's help. But we would love to share that that might be possible for you. Because we've seen it over and over heavily. When people say you know what? I did think I have myself all lined up pretty good at my admire late age. And you know what I I haven't lined things up the way I should, I haven't opened communication the way I should I haven't open relationships way, way I want to, in the way I need to. And so we've heard those stories too, haven't we over and over that I can do more, I can do more. Thank you very much. You've given me the Not only have you inspired me a little bit, but you've given me the permission, if you will, to go ahead and, and do what I want to do, to do the direct to go ahead and act out the direction I was leaning. But I was just leaning before I wasn't acting. Now I'm going to act. We've seen plenty of that, haven't we? People people do, do grasp it. When they when they really take time and contemplate how they're living their life right now. Whatever age they are, but I'm talking primarily seniors. They do contemplate and they do get it. You know, I'll let me stop how but I want to mention one more thing. I think I have a personal philosophy. I've talked to you about it. That, roughly speaking, and it's it's a very, very broad statement. So obviously, there's lots of an inaccuracy in it. But the first third of our life, roughly, is about IQ. It's about growing in my knowledge, going in my understanding of how things get done, how things connect how things work in this world. I think the second third though, just in my book is about EQ, which is the emotional quotient of my life, which is understanding how to be a better husband, father was often I'm a father and my second third friend, other people get along at work, worked well with others, if I don't have a good EQ. Boy, I have a very difficult limiting time in almost any job situation. And so I want to work on that. And I discovered that I need to, I might be the smartest guy in the world with a great IQ. But if I can't work well with others, so to speak in the sandbox, it doesn't do me any good. So I learned EQ, I think the last third is about grace, frankly, how, and that's my grace, quotient, GQ. And we've talked about that being a growth quotient too. But my grace quotient is about me understanding and needing to understand and continuing to grow in how I use grace, or don't use grace, how much grace has been given to me that I didn't get before. And now I'm seeing it, how much grace can I show other people, I don't need those bitter anger, angry thoughts about someone, I need to forgive them and move on. I need to show more love and move on. But I don't need the bitterness and the you know, all the things that prevent me kind of in a selfish way from growing into my final chapter. And so I think the grace, if you will, quotient is critical for seniors to grasp. And hardly any of us master that. We just, we have to keep growing and understanding that if we don't grow in understanding how we've been given grace, and how we can give grace back. We're going to miss the boat.
Hal Habecker: 18:47
But I can't agree with you more. Randy. I mean, I think of older people, my people I know, that have the challenge of living with hurt feelings, from past experiences. Think of people who live with a sense of bitterness and continued anger. They live because of those things. They live in isolation. They're they're more into their own feelings. And when you first when we first started reflecting on this, the first thing came to my mind and you mentioned it is the ability to listen. The ability to listen to God, what is he saying about your circumstances and what you're feeling? What is he saying about living in a narcissistic society where all the world is about me and I don't need to engage anybody? Yep. No To heck with those people. I'm I've decided how I'm going to live and that's it wireless. Will I listened to my adult kids while I listen to my grandkids. Will I listened to other people in the church who have different opinions about COVID than I do. Will I Am I interested? am I dealing with stuff in my own life? Or do I say you know, I think I've arrived I've done I'm entitled to my opinion and to heck with the rest of the world. That's certainly not Jesus. You know, that's certainly not how he thinks about me. I would think just the basic discipleship principle, If anyone wishes to follow me, let him deny himself, his own way of looking at the world, take up his cross the things that are hard for you, and follow me and continue to learn and grow during these challenging seasons of life. Whether they come through your health, whether they come to your marriage, whether they come to your adult kids, whether it comes to your grandkids, whether they come to politics in Washington, DC, or whatever it is, what is God saying to me? And am I listening?
Randy Hess: 20:44
why that's so true. That's it in?
Hal Habecker: 20:48
Well, and then I think, a Peter Second Peter 318, where he said, the end of his life and fits your great grace, quotient, Randy, but grow in the grace, am I experiencing the grace of God, as I think about myself, and where I am spiritually, and how God thinks about me? And how I think about my relations and other people and what he wants to do in my life through them? Do I really care? Do I really engage?
Randy Hess: 21:14
Yeah, I think there's some things that get in our way. So it's difficult. So Well, what we are, we're in the business, though, you and I are in the business of telling people based on our experience, and based on what we've observed, that guess what, you can overcome it, it's pretty easy. You do just turn it over to the Lord, you tune in, you tune in, you have to be willing to do that. And maybe that's impossible. But if it's not impossible for you, I think we would, we would just simply say that you can get back into the learning growing stage of, of who you used to be by praying about it, by asking for help, maybe by talking about it with other people, even. And maybe, for some of you, hey, if you get a chance, come to a finishing law course or class somewhere. I think you'd get a kick out of it, or join one online whenever you can. And I think you'll you'll you'll see, we're not about changing your life and turning it upside down. We're about honoring your life. We're about honoring who you are, you've made it to 65, or you made it to 75, which is, by the way, how 65 was about 9% of the world's population. 75 was about three and a half, or 3.4. You know, Boy, talk about God honoring people. That's think about that, anyway, that you've made it there. What is it that he had? Why is he done that for me? Why I should be interested in that, and not assume I already know.
Hal Habecker: 23:11
Because already, we need to wrap this up. What comes to my mind as I think about this, listening to other people speak into our lives, it really is our second essential, connecting with others. But I think of Hebrews 1024 and 25 Let us consider one another to provoke or to stimulate each other to love and good deeds, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, or not forsaking core friendships that are that God is using to move us from one place to another to help us grow, but so much more as the day draws near. You know, there's nothing to replace. I mean, just I just think about you, Randy, how many conversations have we had over the last 10 years about whatever? I mean, you inspire me and you challenge me and you think I'm a different person because of my relationship with you. I'm a different person, because I listen. I mean, we are different. I might say vice versa, how well thank you. But let's continue to press through and keep growing. I think it's what God has for us here. That's our first essential. I want to grow. I want to grow through the challenges of life. I don't ever want to get to a place where I stopped listening to God, stop listening to my wife, stop listening to you stop listening to others. And I want to seek the intentional purpose. Why God has me here. That's Psalm 118 24. This is the day the Lord has made Let us rejoice and grow in it. Amen. Amen. Well, I hope we've encouraged you to grow during this session and we'd love to hear from you. We got thoughts, write us, check out our other podcasts that finish your well ministries.org forward slash podcast. And let's keep spreading the word and encouraging each other during this elderhood season of life to maximize Why God has us here and what his purposes for a lot. Thanks Randy for a great day