The Best Four Years


Psalm 118:1-8 & Jeremiah 29:10-14

Last week I attended the local student lead High School Baccalaureate service in our community and was struck by something the speaker said.  The speaker was retired school teacher and principal Danny Powell.  Danny told the graduates, parents, and others in attendance that they should never believe that their best four years of life on this earth are behind them.  He talked about even having this view of life into your retirement years.

I was struck by how hopeful and positive that view of life can be.  In so many ways it is the view of life that is proclaimed in God’s Word.  Psalm 118 promises us the love of the Lord will endure forever, that the Lord will be with us, help us, and bring us through any challenge we might face.  The general attitude of the Psalmist is to say, “Life is hard, but God is good, and good things are yet to come.”

In Jeremiah 29 we hear the words that many people have committed to memory.  Jeremiah proclaims that the Lord has plans to prosper us and bring us hope in life.  So when people say to high school seniors, senior citizens, or anyone else that the best four years are behind them we can refute that claim and say “No, the Lord has some great things in store for me in the future.”

In his book “Making Sense of God” Tim Keller shares this illustration…. “Imagine you have two women of the same age, the same socioeconomic status, the same educational level, and even the same temperament. You hire both of them and say to each, “You are part of an assembly line, and I want you to put part A into slot B and then hand what you have assembled to someone else. I want you to do that over and over for eight hours a day.” You put them in identical rooms with identical lighting, temperature, and ventilation. You give them the very same number of breaks in a day. It is very boring work. Their conditions are the same in every way—except for one difference. You tell the first woman that at the end of the year you will pay her thirty thousand dollars, and you tell the second woman that at the end of the year you will pay her thirty million.

After a couple of weeks the first woman will be saying, “Isn’t this tedious? Isn’t it driving you insane? Aren’t you thinking about quitting?” And the second woman will say. “No. This is perfectly acceptable. In fact, I whistle while I work.” What is going on? You have two human beings who are experiencing identical circumstances in radically different ways. What makes the difference? It is their expectation of the future. This illustration is not intended to say that all we need is a good income. It does, however, show that what we believe about our future completely controls how we are experiencing our present. We are irreducibly hope-based creatures.”

I am glad that Keller points out that this illustration is more about what we believe in our future than on what a person makes or has in their bank account.  The future is bright so put on your shades.  God has a great future planned for you, make sure you are ready to take part in it!

Make it Personal:  The next time you catch yourself with a negative attitude remind yourself the best is yet ahead.  Your best four years are always ahead of you no matter what your age.  This is the attitude that is Christ-like and Christ-centered.  Hope will always endure when Jesus is in control.

Have a hope filled week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church