How important is the 4th Quarter of life? Is it a time of winding things up?
A time of self-absorbed pleasure? A time of travel, leisure, and fun with friends? A time when those friends die and loneliness sets in? A time of departure? Or, is there an alternative?
There is certainly nothing wrong with some time off. There is certainly nothing wrong with working on your “bucket list”. And, if you have saved and organized your family and life to allow for some space to relax, the entitlement to enjoy the above is well deserved. However, the leaders of the 4th Quarter Connection in Australia believe there not only is more, there should be more and lives will be enhanced because of it.
Judy and I were blessed to visit our new friends in Australia for two weeks. And yes, Australia was on our bucket list! While checking that off, a much more valuable experience for us and for the attendees of the five-day conference occurred. Christian Management Advancement (CMA) has launched a ministry focused on the Q4 Connection. We met with hundreds of 4th Quarter Christians looking for further insight into answering the question for themselves and for the organizations/ministries they represented,
What is God’s plan for your 4th Quarter?
The question assumes two things:
First, that you have a spiritual journey and that this spiritual journey connects you with God, Jesus, and His presence with us, the Holy Spirit.
Second, it assumes that He has an actual plan for your life and that that plan extends for a Lifetime. As a matter of fact, there were a couple of tag lines for the day. One was, “Faithful for a Lifetime” which is the tagline for our new Foundation, Live with Meaning. The other was the rhetorical question, “How do you plan to spend the rest of your life?” I suppose another way of understanding that question is, “How has God planned for you to spend the rest of your life and how are you going to respond to that plan?” Duck, ignore, refute, or embrace?
Richard and Leona Bergstrom, authors of the Book “The Third Calling”, were the other plenary presenters for the morning session at each of the venues. Their insights into the importance of meaning and purpose and how to begin to connect with those issues in your life were thoughtful, stimulating, and set the stage for the day of learning, interacting, and being personally challenged about the topic.
You can connect with my message by reading prior blogs but the bottom line is that your Third Calling extends for a lifetime!
For some reason, the time horizon of the 4th quarter is not well understood and is not internalized by either the Australian culture or ours here in the US. It seems that when we respond to what our cultures call retirement, there are only two points on the time horizon.
The first being our transition out of the work of our career and into retirement and the next is the time of our passing when we die. Everything in the middle is unclear and often lacks direction. There is definitely something wrong with that perspective involving a huge void with diminished meaning and purpose and certainly not reflective of any plan.
So if we accept that there is a plan and also a void, how do we respond? What do we do? How do we think about the issue and approach for ourselves, let alone for our spouse, family, and friends?
Acknowledging that there is a need to find the meaning and purpose for the last 30 years or so of your life and creating an action plan for it should certainly be in the top five issues of your life.
Choosing a career, choosing a mate, connecting and committing to follow Jesus, and choosing how to spend and invest into the 4th quarter are certainly among the top turning points in all of our lives. Unfortunately, we often don’t make good decisions or lack making a decision at all and end up drifting from one life stage to the other.
One key element to bringing meaning and purpose into the 4th Quarter is to understand it’s characteristics. By characteristics, I mean understanding what in fact makes up that fourth quarter from taking the puzzle pieces of the prior three and making intentional choices about how to respond to each of those puzzle pieces.
There is so much to be said about this topic. What are your thoughts and perspective about this 4th quarter issue? Share them with us and if you think the topic worthwhile, share the content of this blog with others on Facebook, Twitter or other social connections.
Stay with us on the Journey with Trusted Advice Along the Way.