By Phil Porter
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. – Psalm 90:12 NIV
Something happens to every man somewhere between turning 40-45 years of age. For some, it’s turning 40. For me, it came around 41. A switch flips in your brain, and you begin to realize that your life is half over. The reality that most people don’t live past 80 years begins staring you in the face, and you have to deal with it. Some men have a mid-life crisis as they begin desperately trying to hang on to their youth by buying that sports car they always wanted or seeking out much younger women. They don’t want to face reality, so they live in denial by acting younger than their age.
But is reverting to carefree irresponsibility the way God would have us live? Is that the abundant life Jesus promised? Moses wrote in Psalm 90, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Wise words from a man who spent his first 40 years trying to come to terms with the injustice of his people, and then the next 40 leading a developing nation out of captivity and into its destiny. By the time Moses wrote this psalm, he understood the value of leaving a legacy by making the second 40 years really count.
I believe making that second 40 years really count is the whole point. That is when the “compound interest” of investing in life, and of all that’s been invested in you, begins to pay off. Those who understand financial principals know that it’s in the latter years that “addition” becomes “multiplication”. The return on investing in monthly savings begins to multiply in greater and greater numbers, and the actual amount invested begins to double, triple and quadruple in very little time. Similarly, as we invest in life – in our calling, in our talents, in integrity, love and truth – we can expect that God will cause all those things to converge in our latter years and enable us to maximize our ability to make a real difference in the world. And this is how we leave our legacy. By using everything we’ve received and experienced – the gifts, the pain, the scars, and the skills – to leave the world and those who know us in a better place.
So let me ask you, “How do you want to be remembered? What difference do you want to make in the world? How do you want your story to end?” It’s never too late to start leaving your legacy. Whether you’ve already spent the first 40 years, or you’re just getting started, or you’re somewhere in-between, our Redeemer God is ready to take everything you invest and everything you receive from Him, and multiply it with compound interest.
So let us seek first the Kingdom of God, and join with Moses as he continued to pray,
“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.” – Psalm 90:17 NIV
Questions for reflection:
– How do you want to be remembered by those you leave behind?
– What major life experiences have shaped who you are today?
– What gifts, talents and passions reflect who you are and what God has called you to be?
– What legacy might you leave by investing these things in the Kingdom for “compound interest”?
* For more information on how to develop and multiply yourself, see: http://allc.asia/develop-me/
Phil Porter is presently National Director of YWAM Thailand. His passion is to “facilitate others to reach their destiny in Christ.” Phil and his wife, Cindy, have lived in Bangkok, Thailand since 1991, and raised 3 sons there.