Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3567

Jump Start # 3567

Psalms 37:25 “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.”

  “What’s next?” That’s a common question asked as one heads into a new chapter of their life. A high schooler graduates and at the graduation party, he is asked, “What’s next?” Implying, are you going to college, getting a job, or what? At a retirement party, it’s asked, “What’s next?” No more getting up and fighting traffic to get to the office to work. Are you going to do some traveling? Are you picking up a little side job? What’s next?

  What’s the next chapter of your life look like? Have you thought about that? This thought came to my mind as I watched the memorial service for Bob Owen. I sure liked that man. He was one of my teachers in college and a good friend. Always an encouragement and he especially befriended one of my sons.

  At the age of 70, Bob Owen and a handful of other, “old” preachers traveled to Africa to help teach God’s word. This wasn’t a one and done deal. Owen made the trip to Africa nearly twenty-five times. He and others helped turn things around and left an amazing solid legacy there. All this was done in the autumn and winter of his life. At a time when many are looking for the recliner for a full day of TV, he traveled to places many wouldn’t go, ever.

  And, that got me thinking about the next chapter in life. So often, we are so busy with the here and now that we don’t think about what life will be like with children, or as empty nesters, or as retirees. If God allows this old world to continue on, we will all have another chapter to our stories. Have you thought about that? What’s life going to look like when your spouse is on the other side of life? The next chapter.

  Here are some thoughts:

  First, unlike a book, we can’t read ahead and know what the next chapter will be like. I’ve sometimes jumped ahead in a book to read the final chapters and then worked back through the book. Life doesn’t allow you to do that. You can’t look into the crystal ball and know what that will be like.

  You can look around at others in the church or your family who are a chapter ahead of you and see how they are doing. But each person’s circumstances are unique, so your story won’t be exactly the same.

  Second, like most of the world, we can just wait until the next page is turned in our life and see what that brings, or we can takes some steps to prepare ourselves. There are some practical and physical things one can do such as getting important papers in order, leaving instructions for what you want done, having a will and getting your finances shaped up. But there are many more spiritual things you can do. With kids grown and raised, retired from a job, think what you can do for the kingdom. Can you travel and help a small congregation? Can you finance a preacher overseas? Can you go overseas with the intention of connecting and helping brethren? Can you be more available to your home congregation? You can do a deep dive into some heavy books of the Bible. You can encourage young disciples by having them in your home. Thinking ahead, making plans, getting things lined up for the next chapter in life can make that transition easier and it can make yourself more useful to the Lord.

  Third, the next chapter in your life may open doors to volunteer and serve at places in the community. Before you are in that chapter, what interests you? Do some research and get to know some of the people who run those places. Make your face known. And, when the time comes, you might find a smooth and convenient way to offer your help. There are so many places that would love to have volunteers.

  I’ve heard people say, “I gave forty years to the company, now, it’s my time to do what I want.” Not only does that sound extremely selfish, Biblically, is it ever our time? The next chapter in your life could be the most rewarding and beneficial chapter ever. You may find yourself doing things that you never dreamed of.

  What does the next chapter of your life look like? Have you given that any thought? Maybe you should. The choices you are making today may shape what that chapter will look like. Don’t look at it just though what you want to do, but keep the kingdom in your vision.

  The next chapter…it may be the best one yet!