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A Christian’s Voice from Raymore, Volume 1, Number 1, March 21, 2009

Finishing Well

After my father’s passing in 2006, I entertained the idea of trying to keep his e-Bulletin alive. I came to the decision that it was not a realistic objective, considering the other things going on in my life. But more recently, my thoughts have been dominated by desire to spend my latter days of this earthly life doing things that have significance.

I am currently reading Bob Buford’s book, Finishing Well, in which he describes sixty individuals whom he calls “pathfinders.” Peter Drucker, Roger Staubach, Ken Blanchard, Dallas Willard and others recount the circumstances that led them to move from feeling they had to prove themselves to a time when they can give back and make a difference.

This is the third Buford book that I have read in the last couple of months and his message resonates with me. I would highly recommend for your reading this and his other books including Halftime, and Beyond Halftime.

I hope in my journey in Life II, as Bob describes it in his book, to make contributions that will have lasting impact on others. In my passion to make a difference, I have taken on projects that I pray will have positive impact on the lives of young people. I volunteer in the YouthFriends school-based mentoring program by mentoring two elementary school children in two different school districts and in their Classroom Speakers Program. This is just one of many worthwhile programs that exist to help young people address challenges they face and to help them reach their potential in life. I am happy to be a part of a program like YouthFriends and would encourage you to get involved as well. There are many more children who need mentoring than there are caring adults willing to help.

I will leave you today with the Ten Principles for Life II that Mr. Buford includes in Appendix 3 of Finishing Well. This list was compiled by the infamous management guru, Peter Drucker:

#1 Find out who you are.

#2 Reposition yourself for full effectiveness and fulfillment in life’s second half.

#3 Find your existential core.

#4 Make your life your endgame.

#5 Planning doesn’t work. (Ultimately “opportunity comes in over the transom and that means you have to be flexible, ready to seize the right opportunities when they come.”)

#6 You have to know your values.

#7 You have to define what finishing well means to you.

#8 You have to know the difference between harvesting and planting.

#9 Good intentions aren’t enough. You have to define the results you’re after.

#10 There’s a downside to “no longer learning, no longer growing.”

Thanks for reading with me. I hope you have a rewarding life devoted to helping others because, “We are made to work; and to maintain meaning in our lives, we need to be engaged in work that has meaning and purpose.”

“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2nd Timothy 4:7-8).