Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Middle Age Math

I love having children. Yesterday we went to the mall for a few moments, and the youngest girls wanted to experience the escalator, which they rarely do at home (there are only two buildings I know of that have escalators and 90% of the time they don’t work). So they asked permission to ride up and down. I let them do it three times in a row, and they were laughing and jumping like it was Big Thunder Railroad at Disney World. I waved to them and thought how cool it was to be so excited at everything. Being young is great.

Then I thought, that as wonderful as it was to be a six year old, I would not want to be a six year old. I would not want to spend all of my life as a six year old. Can you imagine being a six year old for sixty years? Being six is fantastic, but being 10, 16, 21, and 35 also have their advantages. So, if I would not want to be six again, why do we cling to 40? Do we think that all of life has happened by that age? Do we not believe that God can do things through us, use us, and bless us at 50? Or 60? Or 70? I would not want to be six, not because six wasn’t a fun time of life, but because of all that I have experienced since then. I know that life has so much more to offer than liking an escalator.

As we get older, we tend to replace our dreams with memories and our vision with nostalgia. That is when we start withering away. I believe that our dreams should grow with our age. But, the problem that we face is how to do more with less energy. How can we make a difference when it hurts our back to make the bed?

The key is to do what Jesus did. He focused on the few and the result was that He changed the world. We need to change our perspectives of what it means to impact. Let me explain with a simple math example. We need to stop adding value to the lives of others, and instead multiply ourselves in the world. As we grow older, our ability to produce goes down, but our ability to influence goes up. We need to do what Moses did in Exodus. He realized that he could not do everything, so instead of doing everything he started simply seeing that everything got done. Instead of doing the work, he trained workers. Instead of teaching the millions, he taught teachers.

I asked in my last blog how I could do more with less energy, and received a lot of good feedback. Here is the answer that I see. I need to invest my time and my energy in people who will invest themselves in others. In a somewhat humorous way, it is an eternal multi-level marketing format. I can impact people who impact people.

For example, I taught at a school for pastors in Bolivia. Each person there led a church…I led them. As I taught these pastors how to better equip, train, teach, plan, administrate, communicate and lead their churches, I was in effect impacting the lives of every person who they touched.

This is what I want to do with my life. This is the key to my midlife crisis. Invest in people who invest in people. Change the lives of change agents. Make a difference in difference makers. Impact impacters.

Join me in praying that I could be effective in multiplying myself in the lives of others…so that a model like 2 Timothy 2 could happen in my life.

For those of you who are my age, near my age, or slightly older…are you impacting lives? Are you really living as you change others around you, or simply existing by meeting your own needs?

Lets live!