That question is the title of chapter 12 in a book recently co-authored by a good friend who is also a good friend of Convene. He has recently turned 40 years of age. I am 75 years of age—nearly twice his age—but his question resonates with me and his book has caused me to reflect on the value of thoughtful/prayerful career planning—which I did not do properly . In fact I have found the book to be useful as a self-diagnostic tool but the authors do not offer a “time reversal” process to aid we older readers. At 75 I am blessed with reasonable health, a beautiful wife in our 54th year of marriage, a precious family, chair responsibility for two Convene Teams and a very active corporate life. When I consider that question each day—my response is “Thank You Lord for Keeping Me in the Game!” “But why didn’t I do this sooner?”
The joy and opportunity I gain from our Convene Teams far surpasses the joy and blessing I received from earlier duties as CEO, Chairman, Professor, or corporate officer roles. Building into the lives of other leaders brings greater satisfaction than building the financial balance sheet. Both building activities are essential and valuable— I guess it is age that allows a better appreciation of the relative value of building human capital compared to building industrial/financial capital.
Solomon raises this same question in Ecclesiastes 1:3-- What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?
I know the my co-author friends answer –at his age—is quite different, and that is what motivated him to write the book. His writing appeals to all of us to carefully consider what God wants us to be doing next. In careers where we practice leading and visioning—we must take time to consider or we may miss God’s better plan for us. In fact Chapter 7 of the book is titled HOW DO YOU STOP AND REST BEFORE GOD STOPS YOU?
The authors use Ecclesiastes as the framework for guiding the reader on this clarifying journey.
Do your self a favor—put this book on your reading list—40/40-Vision-Clarifying Your Mission in Midlife—Peter Greer and Greg Lafferty.
Don’t wait till your 75 to read it.