“Fulfilling God’s Plan for Our Aging Years”
Episode 52: Investing in future generations
We are not here on this earth only for ourselves, but for others. As we dig through Scripture, particulary the Psalms, we see a framework develop for how we can create a lasting legacy of investment in future generations.
Dr Randy Hess: 0:00
Good morning, everyone, welcome back to finishing well, our podcast for finishing well, ministries. This is the place we, some of us, people with a little bit more gray hair than dark hair. Get together, however old we are. And we talk about things that we feel can help us and hopefully encourage us in our, in our endeavor to finish our lives well. So if you're younger, that includes you, I'm glad you're here, also. So in our discussions, I get to chat with the founder of finishing law ministries, how Holliger, my good friend, and we talked about a variety of things, and try to give some insight to stuff that we talked about in other places and, and help you get your thinking going about what you want to do for yourself. And help yourself in your life. And feel encouraged about finishing well. So I'm glad to be here with Hal. Hey, how are you this morning?
Dr Hal Habecker: 1:26
Doing great, Randy, it's great to be with you. I had to chuckle a little bit. You mentioned hair color changes. And for some of us hair is turning loose, and we don't even happen anymore. God made me laugh. Yeah. Yeah, well, lifestyle has changed. As I'm
Dr Randy Hess: 1:41
searching. I'm searching for some in the middle of my head. How. And it's it's it's, it's a long search to go after that one.
Dr Hal Habecker: 1:53
I love it. Anyways, I'm glad we're here together this morning. You know, we have this section of our ministry called the six essentials for finishing well, and one of the things we wanted to do each year is kind of revisit those. So today, we're on the fourth essential, invest in our lives and others. And as always think about these, I had a friend who played football for Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers, they used to start their summer training camp. Coach Lombardi would go in the middle of the field players all be around a pickup a football, what'd he say, gentlemen, this is a football. And he'd always work on the basic. So yeah, that's what I think about this this morning, just revisiting these six, kind of doing one, each session, we work on investing our lives in others. I want to get into that today. We are here for ourselves in our own relationship with God, He created us in His image for himself. And our joy is in him through Christ, we just experienced Easter. And that's why Christ came that we would know, his father and his great love through the power of his Spirit was so we are here for our own personal joy. But we are also here for others. We're not here only for ourselves. And we need to spend our lives giving us giving our life away, and investing. That's one of the things big reasons I think we're here in our ag years, you know, we have the opportunity not only to continue our joy in living with Christ ourselves, but sharing that joy with others and investing in them. So Randy, if I could let's take a few verses that set a framework, a backdrop for this. And then we can talk about it and encourage each other sounds.
Dr Randy Hess: 3:47
Yeah, sounds great. Let's do it.
Dr Hal Habecker: 3:49
Okay, one of my key verses and investing in the others is Psalm 71, verses 17. And 18. Goes like this, oh God, you have taught me from my youth, and I still declare your wondrous deeds. Stop for a minute. This is an old man song. He's reflecting back on his life. And now in his latter years, the best thing he has to share is declaring God's wondrous deeds in his life. He reflects on them. God has been faithful all along. And now in his latter years, he still rejoices in God's faithfulness, that he says even when I'm old and gray, oh, God, don't forsake me. This process of aging is an alienation process. You know, you feel distant from other people as you age you slow down. And you feel that spiritually as well. I know, you and I both know a lot of older people, and they wonder they love men. God, why do you leave me here? You know, I just want to go to heaven. My mother said that all the time. And you know, God had Is it's here for a purpose. And then he says this until I declare your strength to this generation, and your power to all who are to come. You know, we have an assignment from God that goes with our aging years, that we are here to tell the story of his faithfulness, His presence, His joy in our lives, sharing that with others all around us, sharing it with our contemporaries, we all need encouragement as we age. So we're here to encourage each other, you know, our adult kids need our encouragement. So we're here to encourage them, our grandkids need our encouragement. So we're here to encourage them and love them. There are young people sitting around us in church every Sunday. And there are people around us all of our life, you know, that we know who are younger than we are, and we have the opportunity and responsibility to invest in them. So let me read just a couple other verses that set the stage. Psalm 89, one I will sing of the loving kindness of the Lord forever, to all generations I will make known your faithfulness with my mouth, is what we talk about, I think of Psalm 78, five and seven is these are great verses. He that is God established a testimony and Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know even children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep and obey his commandments. I mean, here you have the challenge to adult parents, older parents, parents of any age, your responsibility is to pour your lives into your kids and encourage them teaching them the things of God. You know, Crawford Lyrids, has a great sermon on this passage. And he talks about giving a god confidence to your kids, having you know, you demonstrate how you live, you live with God at the center of your life, and you encourage them to do the same thing. You know, God left the testimony, a witness His Word, you know, we model that we model our dependence on God through His Word, we encourage our children with his word, we encourage them to pass it on to their children. So here you have this picture of generation after generation after generation. Really good, I could give some more verses, but let's stop and reflect on this for a minute. You know, we're here to invest in our lives and other people's it makes sense, right? It
Dr Randy Hess: 7:50
sure does. How I mean, I think, in our each of our situations, our personal situations, that's part of our makeup and philosophy, about what our life is all about. By the Lord has us hanging around at our age, and I'm a bit older than you and I'm three or four or five years older than you. And I'm at it when I successfully made it through and was given the blessing by the Lord to beat cancer. It was almost 15 years ago. And I kept saying to myself, thank you, Lord. I know that is in was for a reason. And I've tried to think that through and work on that, ever since then, I would like to add one thing to the overall direction we're going out, I think one of the, one of the real points of power, if you want to call it that, and in my view, of an older person, being aware of being moved by and being pardoned and encouraged in their own head and mind and heart about this topic that God is there for me is protecting me and has kept me around is that I want to be a good model. Role model as my, at my age, as I'm aging. And I think my existence and how I conduct my life is that model Whether I think it is or whether I notice it or not. It's there. My, I think you and I agree. Our argument is that our, our, our kids, whether we think so or not, are still paying attention to us. They still, even as even as they've aged, and are now having their own kids, they still, even though they don't say a lot about it, they still pay attention to how we handle things, what we do, when they bring up stuff to us how we react. So I would like to add how that I think part of the power of this particular essential is in the role modeling that you and I and other people aging people do or can do for our own family and for other people, without having to say much of anything, without having to declare anything, we declare it through how we live our lives and how we respond. So if I'm in a situation where I cannot speak, or I can, my, my voice is gone. I can live my life in such a way that is very meaningful to other people. That's my argument. And, and I can live my life in a way that just very powerful for others to observe. And they do observe, they do grandkids do pay attention to grandparents, whether we think so or not. They all come up with an impression, many, many impressions. And they don't necessarily say their egos again, or there he is doing something different. Hmm, that's interesting. But they pay attention to that kind of stuff. That's my view how?
Dr Hal Habecker: 12:03
Well I think you're exactly right. Randy, we are an example. And that's one of the best teaching mechanisms ever. You know, you look at somebody else's life, you know, your life speaks so loud, I can't understand what you say, you know, I'm not concerned about your verbal message. You know, it's your life message that makes all the difference in the world. And I think that's, that's why Jesus came. He said, No man is no pupil is above his master. But every pupil after has been carefully trained will be like, as we get to where to be like Jesus were to follow his example. Paul said in First Corinthians 11, one Imitate me as I imitate Christ. So we're an open book. And we want to be an open book to those around us. Just a different avenue on this comes to my mind. You know, for many of us, our kids live different places than we live. So they don't have the opportunity to see us making daily decisions as we age, how we spend our time. And there, I think it is important to learn how to communicate that. And I find that I mean, if our kid I have a daughter and son in law and four kids that live in the West Coast, so they don't see my decision making every day. So how do I tell them? How do I model that for them? Well, I gotta communicate somehow. And I think it's just telling the story of my life, however, I can on a phone call, or an email, FaceTime, you know, just being there and letting them see my life. It's important to me, I mean, you gotta communicate, you know, and even just in daily life, you know, we're kind of kids that live here. You know, life is so busy. Sometimes you don't talk about the important things that are going on as you wrestle with God and as you make decisions and so there is a time to talk about that. But I think your point is very well taken. You know, we are modeling how we live every day for those around us.
Dr Randy Hess: 14:06
We are how and distant are close our reactions to them in sit in, in places where they they don't tell us. Hey, this is an important episode. In terms of how you react to me, like I'll give you a couple examples how, whenever if you are planning family get togethers, and you have commitments from all your family to do that. But one family one side of the family has to back out for reasons that we think are shaky, or question. You know, how much grace do we show In those episodes, whether it's verbal, or email, or text, how much grace do we show them? About that? If they miss our birthday? And then send something later and say, Gosh, I'm so sorry, dad. Things have been crazy, or whatever they say, how much grace? Do we respond with that? Or do we get? Do we get upset and make that a new conflict in the family? That's all I'm saying? How is that we can show our love, and invest in them in a in a million small ways of showing grace, when things don't quite work out the way we think they should. They're not showing us the respect they should. They're not paying enough attention to us as, as the patriarchs in the family, blah, blah, blah. All I'm saying is that we ought to do a checkup in our own mind about how much grace we're showing.
Dr Hal Habecker: 15:59
When I think of this verse, declare the wondrous deeds, you know, God doesn't work in our lives. Because we're faithful necessarily, he works in our lives when we're not faithful. He works in our lives when we're failures. I mean, you look at the stories of the Old Testament, you know, there are failures strewn all across the pages of Scripture of men and women who did not do what God asked them to do. But what was God he was faithful to them, he continues to work on their lives. So you model that you model that yourself, you talk about your own failures, you know, to your own kids, to the people around you, and you you tell people, I am not who I am? Because I have been a perfect example. No, I'm not a perfect example. I'm a, I'm a recipient of the grace of God. So why wouldn't I give that grace to my adult kids, my grandkids, my spouse, my friends, you know, we don't want to set this perfect standard of, you know, I'm just negative illustration of this are a great illustration of this. In First Kings, chapter one, verse six, the editor of the record of King says, something remarkable about David says he had never crossed his sons at any time. Galilee, I think about that. I mean, the failures of men of dads in the Bible are all over. But God loved David, David was a recipient of His grace. And he continued to throw himself on God's grace every day of his life right up to the very end, when he made some of his remarkable failures. And I think about that, you know, I want to live as a dad, for others, I want to live as a man for others. And in my network of people, where people see that I'm trusting God, and he works in my life day in and day out through weaknesses through failures. I want to model that and I want encourage other people to live that way. You know, we're not perfect dads. We're not perfect parents. We're not perfect spouses, you know, nobody's perfect. So we all want to encourage each other, through the faithful work of God in our lives and be that example. Yep, you're right on. Yep.
Dr Randy Hess: 18:19
And so investing means we, we, for you and me, I'm sorry, how are you? I don't want to speak for you, but I know you pretty well, for you and me investing is heavy, on the idea of making sure I've covered my closest relationships with that idea. I, my spouse, and my, my kids and my grandkids, and my you know, my other family members. So investing is a term that you have put on an idea. And the idea is that we pay attention and encourage and make sure we are bringing wherever we can God's love to them. But it could also include a whole nother group of people couldn't invest in can include our friends can include other younger generation people that we know and that are also friends and maybe that that need and want, need and want some kind of word of guidance, or have some kind of interest shown in them and some kind of encouragement to the struggles that are facing and as a senior, I hate to use that word, but as an aging person in our population, many of them look to the more aging People as a possible good source of that word that I need or words that I need. Cuz I don't know that I'm going to get it. From my immediate friends, I don't know that I'm going to get it from my own dad, I don't know that I'm gonna get it from my own family. And I need somebody to speak into my life
Dr Hal Habecker: 20:26
as a year exactly right. I want to take it a step further, even as we wind this discussion down. I think this is what New Testament discipleship is all about. You, you're living your life following Jesus, and you're concerned about helping others to follow him as you have. That's what discipleship is all about. Follow me as I follow Christ. And I want to rub shoulders with younger generations around me, whose parents may not live in this area. I mean, we're a very, very mobile society today, kids are often other places and their parents not there. And the only parents they have are kind of like substitute or surrogate parents of older people around them in their church. So I want to encourage them, I want to bless them, I want to pay attention to them, just like God pays attention to me. He encourages me works in my life every day, and I want to be God to them, I want to love them. I don't want to sit down and say you need to learn these three things. 123. And I'm gonna hold you accountable. You know, God loves you. He sends His reign and the just and the unjust. And yes, there is a time to teach people and share with them, but God is present in our lives. And the best thing, the Easter message, or the cross messages that we just went through, and celebrated Easter is that God loves us, he's with us. He will never forsake us if we trust him. And we want to encourage others with that message around us. Just one closing thought here. And, Randy, you, you may have a thought too, you know, when we think of investing, my mind often runs to financial investing,
Dr Randy Hess: 22:05
you're looking for a return
Dr Hal Habecker: 22:08
on your investment. Well, in this case, we're looking to God to give the return. You know, we don't control other people around us. We're simply available to be His servants, his men, his women, his older people, showing the love of Christ and trusting his spirit to use our lives to encourage others. Does that make sense?
Dr Randy Hess: 22:33
That's a good point. I love that point. So we are here
Dr Hal Habecker: 22:36
to invest our lives and others. Brandy lemon law, I'll let you wrap it up today. What do you think?
Dr Randy Hess: 22:42
Well, I only want to say my wrap up, Powell is just if I might just piggyback on your point, if that's okay. I think that one of the ways we get crossed up and sideways in this whole area, is we are expecting return on our investment. And immediate one. And, you know, my time is so valuable, that if I spend one minute doing something with somebody that looks like it's not going to produce any, or that doesn't show me the return I'm expecting in it. It's worthless, you know, I don't need to be spending my time doing that. And maybe I'm really talking honestly about men, not women, more men than women. Men tend to think in terms of payback, operational, time wasting, strategic, where's this going? They don't come at it always with just an attitude of let me let me just find some peace first, in my own heart, and then just listen and let this go where the Holy Spirit takes it. They don't approach it that way. They approach it like I got to get something out of this myself. And if that's the approach we take, I think is doomed to failure. How from the get go, is doomed to failure. You're not going to get what you want out of that. Yes, you may get some return, but you're you're in it for the wrong reasons. And maybe, maybe an understanding that what the Lord wants us to do is give ourselves away as you have said a million times, give ourselves away to somebody to several people, to many people and not get all hung up in what's in it for me.
Dr Hal Habecker: 24:48
You're so right. Good, good thoughts. Man. We could go for a long time just thinking about investment. I do want to close with this thought as well. It came into my mind as you were speaking here. You You know, you talk about pouring your life into your adult kids grandkids, you know, there are many people in our culture, whose kids are not doing what their parents or even what God would wish for them to do. They have walked away from the faith, they have made decisions that are different than what we would have made. And ultimately, we trust God with the investment that we have made into their lives, whether it's through prayer, and we may not live to see the return on that investment. I think the works of God, he is sure he is trustworthy, he will continue to love and pour his life through hours into other people. And it's kind of like Crawford or it said, You pray for generations you will never see. And you don't know how the outcome will be except you trust God with the investment that he has made in you and you invest in others. And he is the one who directs the return on that. So good discussions, Randy. Thanks. Thanks. I hope you've enjoyed this podcast hope it makes you think about the impact of your life and how we trust God. And let's keep giving our lives away to others. Amen. Amen. Let's do it. God Bless.