A couple of years ago my church gave all the men in the church a book for Fathers Day. The book was "Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance" by Bob Buford. (it's truly an excellent book and I'd encourage you to read it)
At one point in the book, Mr Buford suggests that the reader go through an exercise in where you are asked to write out a speech that you would like to be given at your 100th birthday party.
(This is similar to a eulogy at a funeral but I'm thinking the author wanted to promote a feeling of life and hope by having it said at your 100th birthday party rather than at your funeral.)
The goal of this exercise is to get you to think about, when it's all over, what is truly important to you. It forces you to ask the question, "What do you want to be remembered for?"
So I took some time and went through this exercise. I ended up printing out my speech and pinning it on my wall at work so I could constantly be reminded of what is truly important in my life.
Here is the speech that I would like for one of my friends or family members to give at my 100th birthday party:
Today we are here to celebrate a friend, a father, a husband, a brother, a son, a grandpa, an uncle, a businessman, a teacher, an entrepreneur, a veteran, a Marine, a pilot, an athlete, a student, a scholar, a brother in Christ, a writer, a speaker, an adventurer, a world traveler, a thrill seeker.
Lynden is a man of passion. He knows who God made him to be. Lynden has spent every day of his life striving to release the potential that God has placed inside of him and to help others do the same. Lynden has a zeal for life and is always looking for the good in people and in situations.
Lynden has diligently studied the lives and teachings of others and has taken the information that he has gleaned from their experiences and used it to make his life and the lives of everyone he comes in contact with better. You can’t know Lynden without knowing his heart for teaching. Lynden can take a difficult concept and make it so clear that even a child could understand.
Lynden’s desire to bring glory to God and to do his part to bring about God’s Kingdom here on earth is evident in his ministries and businesses. Everything he does is in an effort to know God and to give Him praise.
Lynden is a fantastic father and grandfather. He has worked hard to be able to ‘be there’ for the life events in his children’s and grandchildren’s lives. He has touched hundreds of thousands of lives through his speaking and millions through his writings, videos, audios and ministries.
Lynden is the epitome of taking the talents that God has given him and investing them to increase God’s kingdom. He has been blessed with many skills and abilities, all of which he has used to be a blessing to others.
Rather than just hearing about the lost and hurting around the world, Lynden has gone to the suffering and used his resources to relieve their pain and to introduce them to their Creator and Redeemer.
Lynden has battled ignorance and the frustration of failure with practical, easy to follow solutions that have improved the lives of countless people and will continue to improve the lives of generations to come.
Lynden truly is the’ wise old man’ who has taken many young people under his wing and helped bring out all of the potential that God has placed inside each of them. He has inspired many people to take back the reigns of their lives and to not settle for a shallow, meaningless existence that so many people find themselves in.
I would encourage you to take some time and sit down to write your own 100th birthday speech. Really think through it and ask yourself, with what you know about who God made you, "What do I want to be remembered for?"
If you decide to do this exercise, I promise your life will be more rich because of it.