The Fourth Quarter

I know a grandfather who spends his time running a bible study on the campus of a nearby college. Wouldn’t he rather retire to Naples, Florida, and play golf, I thought? Actually, I asked him that!

He replied, “I don’t know how much time is left but I know I am in the fourth quarter and whatever time I have left is shrinking!”

He recognized the importance of time. In his “fourth quarter,” he opted for action. In fact, as he saw time shrinking in the latter stage of the game, every action increased in importance him. He knew that how he performed in that quarter could determine the outcome of the game: cruel defeat or sweet victory. In the fourth quarter, every play, every call, every second counts.

Taking decisive action in the fourth quarter requires a certain courage. Waiting for one’s expiration date doesn’t. It isn’t a winning strategy. My friend was like Balboa in “Rocky IV”, landing blows right up to the end of the fight.

The most valuable commodity in human life is not a bank account, a house, or a precious metal. It is time. Time is finite. It is resource that does not get larger. Our bank account can grow. Our wisdom can grow, but our time allotment is ever-shrinking.  

I am a new father. I look forward to seeing my son play sports. I cannot wait for him to experience the thrill of an exciting game. But, I also want him to look to the spiritual example of grandparents who are playing a knock-down, drag-out, leave-it-all-on-the-field fourth quarter of their own. Grandparents living this way not only maximize the time they have left, they set an example for me and my son.

For Discussion: What changes in the fourth quarter in sports? In life?

For Action: Consider one or more of your grandchildren and what would be “a great fourth quarter” play. Pray for that to happen.

Michael Giles is the father of one, inspired by grandfathers who leave it all on the field.

Copyright © 2019 Grandly: The Strategic Grandparents Club.

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