So I'm having a significant birthday - the last one I will celebrate out loud - and I realize I'm rounding the corner, coming into the back stretch on the oval. It's where winners are made and losers limp to the finish line. In life this is the mental part of the game where you choose to finish well or give up. I'd say this looks to be the hardest part of life but I wouldn't have said that until I got here. Most of my life I've heard people say they can't wait to get here, that they have worked all their lives and they can't wait to....well, that's just it. Can't wait to what?
Suddenly there are choices again. Career, family, homes, have driven us, freeing us from making decisions. Life has been set out before us and we simply stepped into the days, years, decades and then family moves out, careers end, homes are emptied or downsized. So what lies in the backstretch? All our training and experience must stand for something - the wisdom we've gained must be passed along. Right? But we live in a youth driven, obsessed with new, society. Old is out. (Which is exactly why I'm not celebrating my birthday anymore. I don't wish to be defined by my age.)
My first mental adjustment is to realize this race is a relay in which we pass the baton to someone else who will continue the race. What we pass along and who we pass it to becomes important.
My second mental adjustment is to realize I am three in one; body, soul and spirit. The book of Ecclesiastes of the Bible says, dust goes back to dust and the spirit goes back to God who gave it. That takes care of my body and my spirit so that leaves the soul.
The soul is the expression of who we are and in that lies the baton. Whatever other decisions will be made in the back stretch, finishing well depends on how we pass the baton of our life expression. In my back stretch I plan to stay connected to God's Spirit in order to pass along His good traits, in the unique way that he made me, and in the circumstances I find myself. Those good traits are listed in the book of Galatians of the Bible - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Those things are produced in us as we look not only to please ourselves in life but to please God. Those things I want to pass along as my baton because they keep this world from being out of control. Those things we are all capable of and make us winners because they promote peace.