One of the phrases that God keeps bringing to my mind lately is, “Keep pouring your life into people.” These words are becoming clearer to me as I am only 13 months away from turning 50 years old, and in that time, my youngest will leave home, and I will have an empty nest. Like so many people, my life is moving into a new phase, and with it comes new responsibilities as a believer.
Perhaps the most significant thing each one of us who follows Jesus can do is pour our lives out for God. But it is equally important that what we pour out is filling up other people. Throughout your life, God allows you to gain an enormous amount of knowledge. Some of it comes from books, but that majority comes from life experiences. You have learned through success and failure what does and does not work in this life. You also have skills and talents that can be taught to others and used for their benefit.
The temptation when you reach a certain age is to set back and coast. You tell yourself, “I just need a little time for myself.” Phrases like “It is time for someone else to step up” become your excuse for inactivity. What if instead of setting the cruise control for comfort, we took what we know and have experienced and shared it with someone younger? What if we poured out a lifetime of insights gained into a person who is just starting?
There are a thousand ways to do this, and all you need to do is have to find one that works for you. You can step up to teach a class, volunteer in a prepared position, mentally adopt a young person to help, become a mentor, be a youth group sponsor, coach a team, lead an organization or pray daily for random people who you might bless.
Through the years, I have watched person after person slip into the comfort of self-absorption as they move into the second half of their life. The call of a believer is not to retire but reenlist. We are to take what God has given us over the first half and help someone who is now on that journey as a single adult, newly married couple, or just starting a family. Life is hard, and people need all the help they can get. God has spent your life pouring into you; now it is time for you to tip the handle and pour back into others for the good of his kingdom.