I just started reading Steve Farrar’s book, “How to Ruin Your Life by 30″. I figured I would read it in order to help others – as I am well past 30.
I am only a couple chapters into the book, but am realizing he could just as well have entitled it “How to Ruin Your life by 40 … or 50 … or 60″ or more easily, “How to Ruin Your Life”. I plan to share some of his words of wisdom with you over these next several weeks.
Farrar shares a staggering story about John Bisagno. John had just recently graduated from college and had decided to go into full-time ministry. His father-in-law cautioned him to make sure he kept his relationship with God as a priority, as in his experience “out of every ten men who start strong with Christ in their twenties, only one out of those ten will finish strong.” This statement shocked me – and it shocked John as well. He was so stunned by these remarks that he wrote down the names of 24 of his friends, friends who were in their twenties and were living lives committed to Jesus Christ. Thirty two years later, only three of those men were still living their lives committed to Jesus, the majority of those men had ruined their lives before they even turned forty. (pages 24-26).
I found this story absolutely shocking and frightening. What am I doing today to keep me from being one of those “statistics”, those who fall away from what I want to become?
Farrar used this story to make the point that when you are young, you often times don’t think about what impact decisions have today on how you will finish 50-60 years down the road – cause and effect. He says, “Every young man or woman has an image in their head of who they will be in several years, but the image is hardly ever the natural outcome of the life they are living. The truth is that most young people are comforted with a future perception of themselves that is based on the solid evidence of nothing.” (p. 18)
This is as true for 70 year olds as it is for 20 year olds. Decisions today affect tomorrow. What you want to become is product of decisions made today and tomorrow and the next day … The question is, “What do you want to become?” Once you define that, it should guide your actions today.
The great thing about the faith in Christ is that when you mess up and realize you are heading down the wrong path, we have forgiveness and the ability to start over. Moses, David, Peter, Paul are biblical examples of this. Philippians 4:13-14 “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call in Jesus Christ.”
Again, the question is, “What do you want?”