I enjoyed Burt Gershater’s perspective in a recent blog he wrote for the Bend, Ore., Source Weekly. In it, he asked, “What the heck are we doing in our allotted time anyway…besides all the doing we’re usually doing?”
He went on to compare how we treat life with how we treat our employers. With jobs, we were hired for a specific and often well-defined purpose. As a result, we showed up to work every day and consistently accomplished the tasks we were hired to perform while exhibiting a good attitude. Our reward was a paycheck.
Life is no different. We were created for a specific purpose. The one who created us expects us to show up every day with a good attitude and ready to carry out that purpose. We receive rewards along the way, but receive our greatest reward at the end when we hear those magical words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Come and share your master’s happiness.”
That begs the question, would we live differently if we knew we had to face the boss every Sunday to give an account of what we did with our time that week?
For most people over 50, their work ethic demanded they show up, energized and ready to perform the duties for which they were hired. The idea of sloughing off during work hours was unfathomable.
That point was driven home when I worked for McDonald’s as an energetic 16-year-old back in 1976. “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean,” was the mantra we heard all the time. There was always some work to be done.
People who did what was expected of them continued to receive a paycheck. People who went above and beyond those expectations received promotions, pay increases and other perks.
Being a self-employed journalist changed things a bit because I was the boss. But people were still depending on me to honor deadlines and commitments made to them. I would do whatever it took to get the job done to meet those expectations, even if it meant working late into the night.
Yet, that same consistent devotion is not often evident in how people approach life. We kid ourselves by suggesting there is always tomorrow. So whatever we put off today can be done the next day. Pretty soon, putting off one objective a day leads to seven unaccomplished tasks a week or 365 unfulfilled expectations a year.
Unfortunately, we often put off more than one essential task every day. The older we get, the less energy we seem to have. Newton’s Law says an object in motion remains in motion. Gerber’s First Law of Being 50 says that’s a fine theory, but it’s time for a nap.
If you don’t know what your purpose is at the moment, that’s one thing. I’m happy to help you figure out something you can do to give your life meaning by serving others.
I’m talking to those people for whom they have clearly been given an assignment and are not actively carrying it out. Perhaps they were told to write a book, start a business, call someone for a reason, or serve in a specific way. Yet, they choose not to.
God has clearly given me a purpose in launching Forward From 50. Yet, if I look at what I actually accomplished during the 168 hours of time I was allotted this week, the results are dismal by comparison to all that could have been done.
I often wonder if my response would be different if I had to stand in front of my maker every Sunday as he reviewed my performance during the previous six days. Rest is important and essential, but did I really need to binge watch 180 episodes of Seinfeld during the previous two weeks?
In 1 Corinthians 15:58, apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
It may not be this coming Sunday, but someday I will have to stand in front of my creator to give an account of what I had done with my time on earth. I’ll be commended for the people I helped and the work I performed. However, I will also have insight to the people I didn’t, but could have, if only I had treated my assignment with more urgency.
Success guru Darren Hardy explained it this way, “If you’re not going to use all your tools, they’ll go back in the box — a pine box, as in coffin.”
Use your tools today in completion of your God-given assignment. People you don’t even know are praying for something only you can provide.
If you know what your purpose is, stop wasting time and carry it out. You woke up with a beating heart this morning and were given countless breaths since then because your creator has work for you to do. Will you do it today or wait to tackle it “tomorrow?”
Bert’s full blog post, titled “Awakening Your Inner Hero: What is Your Purpose?” can be found at www.bendsource.com.
After closing his business and enduring several painful years of uncertainty regarding what to do with his life, Greg founded Forward From 50 to help men and women over 50 to live more purposeful lives by pursuing things they are passionate about. A Wisconsin native, Greg currently lives in Arizona.