Every phase of life requires a new set of muscles and the ability to adapt to the demands of our changing world. It is vital to stay flexible so that the changes in life don’t rip us apart, but instead reveal our faith in God. Scripture doesn’t promise us that nothing bad will happen, but that our God will be with us and will ever provide a way out of the control sin can attempt to enforce on our lives. It also promises us that through obedience to Him we find a peace and joy to which nothing in this life can compare.

Looking ahead to what the future may hold gives us wisdom and perspective. It also holds us accountable to a humble and willing heart. It’s hard to be prideful as we imagine ourselves at 85 years of age. It is extremely valuable to ask ourselves what we want our life to look like, should we live that long. Hanging on to a dependency on a job, looks, money, muscles, or material possessions for our sense of self worth and meaning will lead to a long, distracted, and potentially painful ride through the turns of life. These dependencies are addictive, meaning you are never quite satisfied that you have enough, and you panic at the thought of losing them. Hanging on to our relationship with God, meaningful relationships, and a sense of gratitude for all that we have will ensure that the ride has many beautiful stops along the way.

Ask yourself if what you are investing your time, attention, and energy to will provide you peace, joy, and love through the years. If you find that the benefit of your endeavors is short-lived, superficial, or addictive try something new. Try a path of thankfulness and service to God and others. Your reward will be eternal and beyond earthly measure.

Jeff Bates