“Fulfilling God’s Plan for Our Aging Years”
Episode 51: Journeys, Plans, and Celebrations
Tolkein wrote "It is no bad thing to celebrate a single life." Today, we listen to the testimony of our own Randy Hess. God has brought him through many different scenarios and now he finds himself reinventing again as he finishes well. Visit finishingwellministries.org/podcast to hear more.
Dr Hal Habecker: 0:08
Welcome to the finishing weld podcast. My name is Hal Habecker. I love the ministry of finishing well, ministries. It's made a huge difference in my life. And I'm here today with Randy s. He's my counterpart, but we're going to switch sides of the table today. And I want you to hear more from Randy, then you'll hear from me. But let me set it up a little bit different. Randy, part of our mission is the finish well have a sense of mission and purpose for our lives. Our byline on finishing well, Ministries is fulfilling God's plan for your life. So what is God's plan for your life? How does it happen? How do you understand it? How does he want us to live? Now it's very personal for me, in a sense, this is how finishing well ministries got launched. I was a pastor for 21 years. And that's where God brought you and me into a relationship together. But when I left the church, you have the same question about retirement, well, am I going to retire? Or what am I going to do? Or what is God's plan for me now? Well, what it was for me was that I felt God had a mission for me. And it was to encourage my peers, people as we age as we enter the retirement years to continue to finish well, and to continue to use our skills, and our gifts and everything that God wants us to use for him and his honor and his glory, during all these critically important years. And I really have become more convinced than ever before, that these years are best years. So I love living them. I love seeing what God's doing and stirring finishing well ministries and how he motivates people and opens church doors. And I could go on and on. But it really goes back to a fundamental question for me, what is God's plan for me as I age. So I've seen that happen in my own life. But what I want to do today is, I want to hear from you, Randy, about this issue. As you've thought about your own life, and as you're aging, you're a couple of years ahead of me. You know, I'd love to hear your story about the impact of finishing well, ministries in your own life and this whole idea that God has a vision, a purpose for your ministry, and our our responsibility is to fulfill that. So, Randy, welcome to the show on the reverse side. And I'm eager to hear your story this morning.
Dr Randy Hess: 2:41
Thank you How was kind of you to give me some some room here to talk just a minute about me. And challenged me with that question, what is finishing? Well, since I've gotten acquainted with it, what has it? What has it meant? For me personally, we talked about finishing well on the past, in terms of what we have seen as the kind of the impact of the overall ministry. But we did not talk as much about how it affected us personally. And I, I have, interestingly enough thought about that a little bit and contemplated it. And I, I guess I'd like to boil it down to maybe three big conclusions how, on terms of what as, as I got deeper into it, and understood a little bit more of what it meant to me. I'll share I think I've said this in the past, but maybe not, as clearly as I thought that in the beginning of the ministry, when you were starting to present the case, so to speak. And we had many discussions about that. You were beginning to really get out there and beat the drum and finish analyze a little bit more, shall we say? You're beating the drum a little louder. And I thought I grasp it at that time. It kind of sounded to me that it wasn't a bad sound, it was like a call to all of us and to encourage us seniors. And I'm 77 now so I think I'm actually more than a couple of years ahead of you, okay,
Dr Hal Habecker: 4:31
just a couple of
Dr Randy Hess: 4:32
increasing years to go to church, encourage them to support their church, to encourage them not to stop dealing with their church. And I felt that was a noble cause and, and, you know, obviously nothing could be wrong with that idea. But after finally tuning in a bit more and reflecting on it just a little more. I began to in grass But what you were really saying, and what refinishing well was all about. And so the fundamental understandings I, or understanding I have of it changed into something that has had a huge effect on my life. So let me share, first of all, what that effect has been. For me, I guess the biggest change, or the biggest understanding I have is that I Randy house, alive is still kicking around for a reason. And that reason is the God still has a plan or has a plan has always had a plan for my life, even at, or especially at my age. It's not my plan. It's not my spouse's plan we've been married for well over 50 years now, is not my kids plan for me, it's not my grandkids plan for me. It's not my pastors plan for me. It's not even your plan for me how it's God's plan. It's my Savior's plan for me. And as I contemplated that, more than one evening, more than one day, it, it became a powerful understanding. I don't know exactly what that plan is. And I don't know all that it entails. But man, that's an absolutely awesome thing to grasp. And I just like to encourage everybody out there. Think about that. Think about yourself in terms of God, having a plan for your number one your life. It gives new meaning and purpose to you gave it to my life. And it gives me a sense of comfort to know how I'm conducting my life is important. And, and I want to be, shall we say, in the mode of that plan, as best I can, or moving toward it, or trying to appreciate it better and grasp on it is better. And so, it was pretty important to me how that that conclusion that you make. Every time you talk about this ministry, you talk about fulfilling God's plan for our lives. But you know, it can, I'm sorry to say it can not register sometimes the first time you think about it, but if you really think about it, there's nothing more important than that.
Dr Hal Habecker: 8:03
I would agree Randy to two thoughts quickly. Visions to 10. For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has ordained beforehand that we should walk in them there is a plan that He has for you at 77. For me at almost 73 for anyone out there. I think of it with Robert Brown and grow old along with me the best is yet to be well, that best is part of God's plan. So that's great. Just thinking about what God's plan is for you. That's fundamental to growth and growing older.
Dr Randy Hess: 8:43
And I'll just add to that, to how that I'm sad to say I had not given that much thought in my life. And given my second point how in terms of my interacting with the notion of finishing my life well, and what you were trying to get across to me about that is an important thing that I think others might appreciate or want to understand. And that is that I have what it takes to do that. I have what it takes I'm there I have something in me. I have qualities and capabilities to carry out God's plan. In other words, I am already equipped while in my in my book to do what it needs to be done in my for my plan by virtue of my life and my life experience. That's how God is honoring us seniors in our 70s. And our 60s and our 80s. And our 90s is giving us this time, because we have been equipped through the previous six decades or so to use some aspect of who we are, and apply it to our lives right now. But not just to our lives, apply it to the lives around us, I guess I'd have to say, in terms of the, this the second essential of finishing well, which is to, you know, to connect and reach out and build relationships. So that's another actual important, aha, look at each of these as the big aha is in my life. The second one big aha, is that God will use what I have. But I have to open that door, only need to crack open the door a little bit, a small bit, I need to listen, I need to maybe observe, I need to pay attention. A little, maybe a little bit more than the distracted guy I might have been before that. being distracted by other things in my life, being distracted by other interests in my life, being distracted by other goals in my life. But open that door and listen and observe. And opportunities to use what I have in skills, and gifts and feelings, in qualities, and senses will be used, the Holy Spirit will help me fine tune some of those or maybe many of them in terms of using them. So my second AHA is that he wants my capabilities and used he doesn't want them use necessarily for me. He wants them use for others. And I want to open the door to that. So that's my second Aha. Now.
Dr Hal Habecker: 12:31
I think that's good. Ready, I think of another verse have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly. You know, is that true for us as we discover what God's plan is for our lives? And I want to say amen. It is. So I think God is calling he's setting you up. Randy. He's setting Julie, your wife up. He said, he me. He's setting each of us up, knowing what our gifts are, knowing what our strengths are knowing how he wants to use us, filling us with His Holy Spirit for our greatest joy and for the world's best blessing. When I guess what it's all about you, you've hit it right on, it's great.
Dr Randy Hess: 13:16
I love knowing that I'm enough for the Lord, I'm enough. At my age, in my condition. Whatever that condition is, I'm enough for the Lord. And if I open the door, pray about it, which I am doing and have done. That that door will allow me to listen and to observe and to talk to other people about it. And I will be able to discern better, and to pinpoint better. Those things that I want to use and do to finish well, including just loving my, my family better, loving my spouse, better loving my kids and grandkids better than I do now. But also loving others and paying attention to others out there.
Dr Hal Habecker: 14:17
Well said well said Randy, I praise God for your life. And let's make your tribe increase as we age and all consider what it is God wants us to do with what we already have. So what's your number three?
Dr Randy Hess: 14:33
Yeah, my third one is that and this is a surprising one, but boy, it's important. It's meant that I can and have found I can have an app found new Joyce new joys in carrying out by finishing my activities. I feel more fulfilled more solid in my approach, and outlook. And that I feel that Holy Spirit is guiding me. I pray more about it than I did before. I, I'm not saying that I don't do anything church wise any differently than I did before I, I love to go to church, I love to meet people there. And I love to be a part of church. I don't know that I'm doing anything differently with church, although I'm trying to get our message established as best as I can. But it's just indifference, I guess you'd say how a full grasp of my eldership years that are here now, and they're here for a reason. And that full grasp is that I have purpose in them. And that just gives me hope, hard to describe, but it gives me a just a huge sense of joy in my life that I didn't have before. I know I'm not out there, how to climb mountains. I'm not out there to win medals. I'm not out there to do anything, that would be my personal accomplishment in this. But I am out there to try to better follow what the Lord has asked me to do in my plan. And that's just to help him others. So that's joyful, really joyful to me, gives me a sense of joy and purpose that that I really didn't
Dr Hal Habecker: 16:58
can push you just a little bit Can you think of a concrete illustration in your life where you can describe the greater joy or this joy fulfillment in your life as a result of embracing God's plan for your life, where you're, where you're understanding, you have what it takes. And it really is making a difference joyfully in your life was in your marriage. I mean, you can talk about your church, or give me some illustrations where you see the rubber meeting the road, and that greater joy?
Dr Randy Hess: 17:35
Well, it's not the kind of joy that makes me stop on the street corner and put my arms up in the air for an hour and praise the Lord, I'm sorry to say how but it is a sense of joy in many, many little episodes in my life now, of things that I'm involved in. It's the joy of knowing some new people that I didn't know before, at a deeper level. Part of what the Lord I believe has asked me to do is to reach out to people and make connections and get to know others better. And I have, I think, some gifts in that area, so that I can do that. And it gives me great joy to do that. It gives me great joy, knowing that other people have felt that those connections have been helpful to them in some way. My wife and I talk about finishing law all the time. That gives me joy. I tend to sit around and listen to things from a finishing law perspective. And that gives me joy. I think about things differently. And I think, I hope I have been stronger and more active in my family life, how with my kids, my adult kids and my grandkids and assuring them that you know that I love them. And that I love them because Jesus is teaching me and has taught me to love as He loves me. And that everything happens because of that everything happens because of him. And having feedback from them, a casual kind you get the little notes, you get the little talk, you get back and forth. That tells you something is registered with somebody else brings great joy to me. So I wish I had those a little bit more mountaintop kind of experience to talk about Jordan, but I have many little pieces how every day.
Dr Hal Habecker: 20:07
I think that's awesome. Randy. It here you talk, I have to talk about experience. You and I had a review, remember this. You were in the hospital a couple years ago. And we're thinking about finishing well. And I always remind myself when I go to see people in the hospital, hey, don't overstay make it short, sweet, have word of prayer. So I come in your room and visit and that's my intention. And all of a sudden, we get talking about finishing well, this is why three or four years ago, as best I can recall. And I ended up staying an hour and a half, and I get home, Vicki back kick me. She said, How long did you stay? I said, Well, we were having fun talking about this stuff. I mean, so I think about that, and the joy that comes as you use your gifts, and you're seeing God work. And it makes all the difference in your life. And I remember that session. I mean, I remember lots of sessions with you. But I'll never forget that day, you remember that? I do. It was I didn't
Dr Randy Hess: 21:08
know the time was passing. We were having fun with it. Yeah, it was pretty funny
Dr Hal Habecker: 21:14
to illustration of joy.
Dr Randy Hess: 21:16
So I'll just sum up right there, how that's that those are my takes on how it's impacting me personally. And I would like to just encourage anybody out there who hears our message in one way or another through our podcast, or comes across it and, and has looked at the website, to to just tune it in a little deeper than the casual observation. listen a little deeper than you might have before. And then I'm not trying to preach it anybody here but I am saying that there is a plan for you there for your taking. It's a plan for your taking. I was in the I was in the bleachers for quite some time watching the field, watching all the stuff going on down in the field and saying, Wow, look at all that cool stuff going on down there. I'm going to just observe from the stands. And then you spark me to get up and walk down on the field how and get involved and listen to the message from the Holy Spirit about my role in that game. And it's just it's been all the difference in the world for my life.
Dr Hal Habecker: 22:31
Thanks, Randy. You're awesome. So if I could remind our listeners out there the three things that you mentioned, you are alive for a reason God has a purpose in your life. You have what it takes, as you begin to think about what God wants you to be, continue being it's an outgrowth of who you are now, and you have it. And that's the source of our joy of living where Christ is becomes to us more real through the details of our lives and how he has wired us every day. And we've never lived this season before. So let's enter it with joy and thanksgiving. And live it to the hilt for the glory of God. Amen. Amen. Well, thanks Randy. Great points. I'm glad you're here with us today to hear Randy story if you want to hear more of these stories and what God is doing through these important years of our lives you go to finish and well ministries dot o RG forward slash podcast. And we're now at 51 of these so there's a lot to listen to. And we're reviewing the the six basic essentials as well. So we're glad you're with us and I hope it encourages you to go further and what God's plan is for you how he's wired you and how your greatest joy is still ahead and doing and being the person he calls us to be So may the Lord bless you and thanks. Thanks again, Randy, for being with us. Thanks. God bless