Monday, June 18, 2007

How Long & For What Do You Want to Live?

Tomoji Tanabe is the world’s oldest living man at 111 years. Born September 18, 1895, he was certified by Guinness World Records earlier this month. He says that he doesn’t want to die and that he stays away from alcohol and smoking.

The world’s oldest person is also Japanese, Yone Minagawa, 114 years old. The number of people living past the age of 100 in Japan had quadrupled in the past 10 years and will exceed 28,000 in number.

Have you thought about how long you want to live? Not that you get to determine how long you live (though there are many factors that help prolong your life) because God is still the One that gives and takes life (Job 1:21). If God gave you many years what would you do with it?

I’ve shared with many of my friends that when I was 21 years old I was doing a study of Moses and took note that he lived 120 years and that God had mightily used the life of Moses through three generations. At that moment I felt prompted to pray, “God if you give me 120 years I’ll use them to serve You.” I have a desire in my heart to meaningfully minister to three generations during my lifetime.

I don’t know how long I get to live and I certainly don’t feel that God has given me a guarantee of any particular number. But, because I’ve asked God for many years I’m prompted to view life differently. Middle age for me won’t begin until I’m 60. I can’t afford to become locked into preferences and styles of my generation. I must be flexible and adaptable to comprehend the changing times. I must learn to effectively communicate with multiple generations. I must “run the race” as if it is a marathon.

I also must be prepared to outlive people that I love. The older I get the more I see my contemporaries die. I have to learn to grieve well. In a culture that worships youth I must learn to celebrate wrinkles, accept diminished strength and athletic ability, and guard against bringing up the past with the “I remember when…” lines.

Most of all I want to be able to walk with Christ well for a lifetime. I want my life to inform, inspire and encourage others about trusting God.

What about you? What’s your vision? What makes your heart beat faster and stirs you to get up in the morning? Are you not only prepared to “meet your Maker” some day but are you getting to thoroughly know Him in this life?

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