The Retirement Reformation Manifesto (part 3)
Preparation: We choose to enter each new season with a God-directed vision of His preferred future for us.
During the coldest of days and the darkest of seasons, there is the promise of another season of warmth and light. As God created the universe there were intense periods of creative upheaval followed by the arrival of peace, beauty, and purpose. So too are our lives.
Think back about the turbulent times in your life. Those times of intense pain or perhaps fearful times. Those times also held the promise of something new, something different, something better, and something beautiful.
It does not always work out that way, often because of the choices we make and the focus we choose. When we choose to be trapped, always turning inward, we keep a lid on new light and remain in the darkness. When we let the light in, by turning towards it, the rejuvenating Spirit of God enters giving us hope and a pathway to God’s preferred future for us. Be encouraged.
God does have a preferred future for us, one created before the beginning of time. Each new season can and should be a season of preparation for what is next. The next season builds on our choices previously made and the lessons learned as a result.
I’ve always been impressed by the great coaches in sports. As each new season approaches and the team gathers for training, it is basic preparation that receives the most attention. Baseball is a simple game. You catch, you throw, you hit, you run. That’s all there is to it. Yet the greatest teams are also the best at the fundamentals and have times of renewal each Spring. Times for review and enforcing muscle memory so that the fundamentals always provide the base for the triumphs of Fall.
If we ignore the preparation we will not experience the fruits of the process. When we embrace spiritual and emotional preparation, the resulting maturity is the springboard for the next season of personal fulfillment and then even greater growth.
Our God is a God of growth. Growth without preparation leads to pain. Growth coupled with preparation leads to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control. The fruits of the Spirit that spring from God’s preferred future for each of us.
Preparation is not for the faint of heart or the weak of spirit. Preparation may be the hardest principle to live out because it takes both work and intentionality. If you are distracted by all the world’s merry-go-rounds, you will miss grasping the basics, practicing the basics, learning from the basics, and experiencing the power that comes from mastering the basics.
The basics of the God-directed life and heart of the Retirement Reformation are prayer, purpose, and practice. In order to connect with those, it requires ongoing interaction with God’s revelation for us in the Bible. If you ignore the manual, you’ll miss the pathway. Try re-programming your garage door opener without the manual. Try driving to your next appointment or even a new restaurant without Google Maps or Waze. Getting the manual out and reading it before you start, or putting the destination in before you start driving, makes it much easier.
One final thought: As the universal church and as Jesus’ representatives here on earth, we will live out our personal preferred future with greater joy and effectiveness if we both learn from each other and are willing to coach, mentor, and walk-along-side-of each other.
There are a couple of aspects to this:
1. There is a great transfer of wealth occurring in the Western world from the Baby Boomer generation to the next. There needs to be a concurrent transfer of wisdom from this generation to the next as well. Enabling this transfer of wisdom is one of the goals of the Retirement Reformation. The essence of being prepared is learning from those who have experienced the pain of growth and the willingness to acquire wisdom from others.
2. Mentoring and coaching are systematic activities to enhance the preparation of others. We learn through our own experience and then passing that experience on to others. When we do it systematically, effectively and efficiently the impact is profound. Mentoring and Coaching are foundational to the success of the Retirement Reformation, changing the way we think and act during the last decades of life.
God’s call on our life will best be carried out when we are prepared spiritually, emotionally, physically, and relationally. We choose to enter each new season with a God-directed vision of his preferred future for us. A principle worth living out. Be prepared.
Go to: RetirementReformation.org to review the Manifesto, sign, and join if you agree. Download a copy for your reference and acquire the Retirement Reformation book or one written by any one of our Retirement Reformation Roundtable members.