I am leading a Monday night men’s group. Right now, I have nine men who are walking with me through some material on how men step up into the different phases of their lives. The final part of last night’s meeting drew our attention to the role of a Patriarch.
While the video did not give much information on the exact dynamics of the Patriarch in a family, the accompanying study guide asked a great question, “How do you want to spend the final years of your life?”
To the best of my study and experience, there are three options for us.
1.Grow Old and Selfish
Several senior adults spend the final years of their life on their own selfish dreams. They travel and enjoy the finer things in life. They play golf all day or another type of hobby. They spend money and accumulate extensive collections of stuff. They justify this behavior by saying, “We have earned it.” They also use the phrase, “We deserve this.” These people spent their earlier life giving all of their time and money to work or family, and now they are going to indulge themselves.
2. Grow Old and Scary
Some people end their lives full of bitterness. They grow angry with their family and friends. They speak of the “people these days” as if they were the enemy on the battlefield of life. Quite often these people complain that no one who cares for them or visits regularly but spends times with their visitors whining more than anything else. As a result, their grandchildren are forced to visit them on holidays to try and keep peace in the family.
3. Grow Old and Spiritual
These people have seen the best and worst of life, and they have grown closer to God through all of their experiences. They speak with kindness and love. They demonstrate faith and perseverance. Many in this group serve at Church until their body gives out on them. They spend their final years making an impact for the kingdom of God wherever life takes them.
So the question remains, “How do you want to spend your final years?” The Patriarchs of the Bible were spiritual leaders of entire families and clans until the day they died. People came to them for wisdom and guidance that only a life of faith can produce. They were a source of blessing to the community through the final stages of their journey.
Here is the deal. You are already headed one of these directions. Your life has a trajectory of movement that will place you squarely in one of these categories. Where you end up is not just the result of the decisions you make when you retire. Instead, they are the culmination of the choices you are making every day. The question for today is simply, “Is my life headed the direction I really want it to go?”