Nice picture? How it would be great to look back on life and seeing a stillness, whether we really made a difference. Did we make a footprint? Will we be remembered for a chance meeting or a missed opportunity? I know, it sounds like an old man reflecting on whether life has been good or not… I don’t see it that way.
I am in the middle of being a volunteer at a golf tournament. it’s fun, it’s hard work and we have many lots of well known faces. Faces you only see on the TV or in a magazine. They have had a successful career, won lots of money, got the homes and lifestyle to prove it. Excited people want an autograph and a photo. On the golfing theme, the great Arnold Palmer had a brilliant attitude to his fans and anyone he met. Be happy to meet them, give them a a brief time of value and sign the autograph so that they can read the name. This one thought has so many meaningful aspects to it - he wanted to leave people better than he found them. A principle that I was given by a fellow minister when I was 45 years of age. Hadn’t I done that by that age?
This is not about old men giving wish advice at the end of their lives, it is an attempt for all of us to make a decision to go forward with a purpose to make a footprint, leave a legacy, give value and quality time to someone. The principle goes back at least 3,500 years to the life of Moses. OK, don’t pay any attention to it - it’s your decision, right? The one thing I decided at the age of 42, after becoming a believer in the existence of Almighty God, who sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for my sins, that I would be more teachable than I was previously. I am an educated person, I would rank into the top 7-8% of the population who have a recognised degree or profession, but I am not taking about RECEIVING knowledge I am talking about APPLYING what I have learned to make wiser decisions and make the right choices.
What did Moses say, when he was coming to the end of his life? In Deuteronomy Chapter 30 v 15 onwards - 15 Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. 16-18 I am commanding you to be loyal to the Lord, to live the way he has told you, and to obey his laws and teachings. You are about to cross the Jordan River and take the land that he is giving you. If you obey him, you will live and become successful and powerful.
On the other hand, you might choose to disobey the Lord and reject him. So I’m warning you that if you bow down and worship other gods, you won’t have long to live.
19 Right now I call the sky and the earth to be witnesses that I am offering you this choice. Will you choose for the Lord to make you prosperous and give you a long life? Or will he put you under a curse and kill you? Choose life!
The whole process of being teachable is reflected in this passage. Let me explain… If you don’t want to think positively about this, you say ‘What does an old guy, who may have lived, speaking to a bunch of people in a desert have to do with me today?” Nice story, but… Alternatively, if we decide to consider what will help us, we would consider if this is still relevant today and how I can use it for my benefit and the lives of people I come into contact with.
I believe that it has relevance. What difference does it make if you are 20 or 50 or 80 years old. The principle that we can ALL be teachers, if we choose. If you have read the book of life to page 20, then you can teach others unto page 19 - correct? That is where we leave a legacy. The whole process of helping people not to make the same mistakes that we may have made.
Choose today, that whatever your life pattern has taken that you can support or help others to change theirs from one of negative towards the positive. God didn’t limit man. He gave us all the opportunities to flourish and live a rewarding life. As I am this, I can picture many inmates who have decided to change and never return. Their eyes have been opened to the endless possibilities of the future instead of reflecting on a life of constant disappointments.
The past is over, the future is bright. Choose life.