Some Generational Wisdom for Graduates

Sunday at TRC we will recognize our high school graduates, and we’ll address them with some wisdom in the vein of Proverbs 1:1-7 in the form of some of my personal values that have been uncovered through the difficult challenge of life, ministry and hanging on by the skin of my teeth.

I’d also like to share some observational wisdom that I learned from Bob Biehl on the generations of life for our graduates. This is not a “truth”, but it is some solid observations on the generations of life.

So, graduates of all levels of education, take some notes and see what may be helpful to you here. These are Bob’ Biehl’s points with my commentary.

20’s – Survival

This is where you are trying to figure out exactly what you do and who you are. I can’t say this has been the case in all of mankind’s history. It seems in some places around the world this happens in the teen years. But here, it seems to be the 20’s. There are reasons for that, but not the purpose of this  post.

So, learn who you are, but don’t let this stage of indecision keep you from being a committed follower of Jesus who plants their life and stays the course. Do figure out what God made you to do.

30’s – Success

The 30’s is where you will begin to have some success and find a few places or duties you do well. The challenge will be to focus.

40’s – Significance and Struggle

This is the decade when you will begin to seek that “one thing” you do, and it will be a struggle to shed everything else that stands in the way of that.

You will have to cut ties with loved work in order to focus on the “one thing”.

I’m right smack dab in the middle of this.

Some people call this “mid life crisis”. That may be bad terminology, but there is something to recognizing you over over half way done with life and need to “get after it”. Some people use this uneasiness for sinful stuff and wasting time or resources on toys.

I’d argue this is where you should sharpen your ministry focus, find out what you can do to leave the best impact, and then “get after it.”

I’d suggest anyone in their 40’s read Bob  Buford’s book “Halftime”.

I’m ¼ of the way through the 3rd quarter of my life. That’s sobering. I don’t have time to tinker with petty things. I want to obey the Lord, and lead others to obey the Lord and have a lasting impact, no matter how small, on the world for the Kingdom of Jesus. You’ll want that too.

50’s – Hit your Stride

Your 50’s is where you become the expert. You’ve figured out who you are, what you do and you’ve gained a track record. You are now the expert. Don’t quit or start slowing down now! Speed up and get after it harder.

60’s – Strategic

This is the decade where many in our part of the world “mail it in”. They quite on life. This decade is where you will begin to have less energy, so you will begin to think more strategy in being better at what you do. You will begin to dial in on the most important things and get them just right.

Don’t quit here!

70’s – Succession

I’ve heard Bob Roberts say that the world is run by 70-year-old tired people. That’s true! You will begin to pass on your legacy here. This is where you will take all of your spiritual sons and daughters and hand them the reigns of your work.

You don’t quit here either. You keep running until you can’t run anymore, but you’ll enjoy watching your people run with your vision.

So, graduates. Don’t be short-sighted. Think ahead. Begin with the end in mind. It may just help you navigate those tumultuous 20’s.


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