Are You Growing?

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I told our class the other night about a new book that I am reading by Bob Buford. The book is entitled, Finishing Well. I love the book. Below is a description of the book which may help you to get a feel for it.

Author Bob Buford calls them “pathfinders” — individuals for whom age 40 and beyond has been an opportunity to further their significance rather than to rest on their success. They are people who have pioneered the art of finishing well in these modern times, and who can teach us to do the same, starting today. Buford sought out 60 of these trailblazers — including Peter Drucker, Roger Staubach, Jim Collins, Ken Blanchard and Dallas Willard — and has recorded their lively conversations in these pages so that they can serve as “mentors in print” for all of us.

“Twenty years from now,” Buford writes, “the rules for this second adulthood as a productive season of life may be better known. But for now, we’re out across the frontier breaking new ground.” Buford gives you a chance to sit at the feet of these pioneers and learn from them about Finishing Well so that you may shift into a far more fulfilling life now, no matter your age. A life of significance that will be a legacy for future generation’s too.

I think that one reason that I like the book is that I find that I am enjoying life more than I ever have. Though, I recognize that in a number of ways I am not exactly the person that I used to be. I am very much a “work in progress.” As I think about my life today, I can see several changes that have occurred over the last twenty years.

1. I am far more concerned about pleasing my heavenly Father than pleasing people. Of course, I would like to say that has always been true. But–it just hasn’t. Far too often, I have spent more hours worrying about someone who was upset than whether or not God was pleased.

2. I feel less hesitant to admit my sins, weaknesses, etc. I will not pretend, gloss over, or try to pose as some person who has it all together in every single aspect of life. I don’t!

3. I think that I am more focused on the things that matter. I do not wish to die with my family knowing that my time and energy were being spent on things that really don’t matter in the long run. I want to die “in battle” doing the kingdom business that really counts for something.

4. I feel more passionate than ever about God and his desire for a redemptive relationship with people. That is what Christians and churches should be focused on. When I read of the work of Barton Stone or Thomas or Alexander Campbell, our forefathers in the faith, they were about simplifying things not complicating them. We have done just the opposite. We have managed to complicate the life of the church and its ministry. This has contributed to our lethargy. Let us get back to the vision of Jesus instead of staying bogged down in the mess we’ve made.

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