Memo 1084: One Day It Will End
As we near the end of this series, we are also nearing the end of David's reign and life. David was still fit enough to go into battle but as we read this week, he was not strong enough to finish the battle:
Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted. And Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David. But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him (2 Samuel 21:15-17).
Let's see what lessons we can learn from this part of David's story that can help us manage and thrive on our own position of purpose God has assigned to each of us.
None of us are getting out of here alive. Unless the Lord returns, we will all die. Death is identified as an enemy, the last enemy conquered by Christ:
Then the end will come, when he [Christ] hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he [Christ] has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death (1 Corinthians 15:24-26).
In a sense, Christ has destroyed death through His resurrection, and we can enjoy a taste of resurrection life now but still must yield to our enemy before we enter into the fullness of our eternal life. The unfortunate reality now is that the old die and the young can die.
In most cases, death is a process that involves aging and lessening strength that yields diminishing returns on our efforts. Even though this is true, there are still some who think they can beat the system through health foods, supplements, exercise, or other lifestyle decisions. Then there are some who believe the end is so far off for them that they can continue to live as they are with no thoughts toward a succession plan or even preparing for their eventual end. It seems that David was guilty of this.
"I CAN STILL DO IT"
David went out into battle because he thought he still "had it," even though he didn't. Others had to intervene to do his job and then insist he stay home from then on. It's sometimes difficult to recognize that we have limitations but it's important for you to keep in mind no matter how good you feel or healthy you are. Your end is coming; it's just a matter of time. Armed with that truth, what should your life philosophy be:
- Make the most of every day you have.
- Don't make it hard for others to take your place.
- Prepare others to take your place.
- Don't wait until you have no choice to allow others to take your place.
- Plan for a smooth transition if you are in a position of leadership, or if you have skills or insight that can be transferred to others.
- Stay productive as long as you can, but accept that there will be diminishing returns from your efforts.
God has given you a throne, a place of fruitfulness and authority, but the clock is ticking on its shelf life. Accept that as a reality and enjoy it while it lasts, but be willing to step aside when it's over—and maybe well before it's over. God will still use you but you don't want your champions around you who love and respect you to be the ones having to help you face the reality that it's time to step down. If you do it gracefully, it can be a tremendous teaching opportunity that will add significance to your legacy as your work and impact continue to the next generation. Have a blessed week.