Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

January 19, 2010

Fourth Quarter of Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Sitting on a bench at the mall, like most husbands do, I got into a conversation with a man.  We talked about the cold weather, and I told him how cold weather really bothered me.  He said, “A young man like you shouldn’t be bothered by it.”  To this 60-65 year old, I replied, “I’m in the last quarter of my life.”  When he looked a little puzzled, I gave it to him again, “I’ve  passsed three-quarters of my goal, and I plan to live to be  100.”  Hopefully, you understand this better than he.  (The answer is, I am 75 years old.)

I do have a goal of living to be 100 years old.  My father passed that century mark, so why shouldn’t I?  I will confess that I have prayed for years, “Lord, give me long life, with good health and a sound mind.  May I be able to serve you all those days.”

That prayer is for a purpose.  Just reaching 100 years of age should not be a priority goal in life.  Life must have a purpose and be lived with commitment.  The question is not really how long we live, but how productive we are with our years.  For what purpose do we use our years?

This earthly life will one day be over, but life will continue.  In that eternal life we will give an account to our Lord for how we did live.  I am confident to only offer the fact that I lived 100 years will not be the answer He wants to hear.  It is more in the arena of how I lived my life.

As an older teenager, I went into Hiwassee, Georgia  to get some camping supplies.  On the wall of the store was a printed quote by Lolete Dotson, a missionary to Nigeria.  “Only one life to live. It will soon be past.  Only what’s done for Christ will last.”  At that time in my life that really did not mean much to me.  But, how interesting that I never forgot that quote.  Years later it would have meaning, and does to this day.

My very basic goal is not to live to be 100 years old, but to spend each day given me  serving and honoring my Lord.  With such a commitment, an old Indian proverb says what life can mean.  “Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow but a vision.  But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”

Years ago I made the following words of an anonymous author the sentiment of my daily living.                                                           

“When I reach the end of my days, a moment or two from now, I must look back on something more meaningful than the pursuit of houses and land and machines and stocks and bonds.  Nor is fame a lasting benefit.

I will consider my earthly existence to have been wasted, unless I can recall . . .  a loving family . . . a consistent investment in the lives of people . . . and an earnest attempt to serve the God who made me.”

I will not give up on my goal of living to be 100 years old, but I do not need those years if I am not able to live them in fulfillment of God’s intentions for my existence.  Let  us move on in life, regardless of the number of  years we live, keeping priorities and responsibilities in perspective.

” . . . that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way.”  (Colossians 1:10)




  1. Very poignant words from the anonymous author. Thank you for continuing your messages via technology.

    Comment by Carol Mathews — January 19, 2010 @ 8:32 am | Reply

  2. I just spent some time on your blog. It is great,
    uplifting and inspirational. Thanks for being such a light.

    Love you both and miss you greatly,

    Lynn Lambeth (via email)

    Comment by lawsonjolly — January 19, 2010 @ 6:16 pm | Reply

  3. Well, if your goal wasn’t met and life did end “in a moment or two,” you have more than realized your purpose and given us all a great example. Well done!

    Comment by jjr, mo — January 20, 2010 @ 9:53 am | Reply

  4. Is this the Lawson Jolly that used to be pastor at Manchester, GA? I appreciated your comments, just as I did your preaching back then.

    Comment by Jan and Beverly Kotzian — April 30, 2013 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

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