Why You Aren’t Dead Yet

Several weeks ago, I had lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in years. He had just turned eighty years old. His mind was as sharp as ever—witty, inquisitive, and focused. He was also a great listener. When he did speak, wisdom dripped from his lips like honey.

After reading this blog post, Greg Surrant, Senior Pastor of Seacoast Church, decided to preach a sermon series on the topic. His creative team produced the video above to promote the series.

In a point of genuine humility but uncertainty he asked me, “Michael, do you think I have anything left to contribute? Are my best days over?” Tears welled up in his eyes.

I admit, his question caught me off-guard. I thought to myself, Here I am with one of the wisest men I have ever met. He is a living treasure. I would pay for the privilege of sitting at his feet and listening to his stories. And he is asking me whether or not he has anything left to contribute? I was flabbergasted.

I leaned in, grasped his hand with mine, and said, “Jimmy, listen to me carefully: your best days are ahead of you. I am not saying this just because I like you—and I do like you—but because it is the truth. I can prove it to you.”

I then began to make an argument that I first learned in The Noticer by Andy Andrews. In the book, Jones, the personification of wisdom, makes six points to Willow, a seventy-six year old lady, who had given up hope that she had anything left to contribute. (see chapter 6, pp. 83–85).

  1. God has a purpose for every single person.
  2. You won’t die until that purpose is fulfilled.
  3. If you are still alive, then you haven’t completed what you were put on earth to do.
  4. If you haven’t completed what you were put on earth to do, then your very purpose hasn’t been fulfilled.
  5. If your purpose hasn’t been fulfilled, then the most important part of your life is still ahead.
  6. You have yet to make your most important contribution.

Jones goes on to say,

If the most important part of your life is ahead of you, then even during the worst times, one can be assured that there is more laughter ahead, more success to look forward to, more children to teach and help, more friends to touch and influence. There is proof of hope . . . for more.” (p. 85)

My friend, Jimmy, sat back in his chair and was silent for a full minute. I could tell he was taking it all in. Finally, he said, “Then I better get busy. It sounds like I have a lot of work to do.”

You may be old. You may be sick. You may be divorced. Your kids may not be speaking to you. You may be out of work. You may be broke. You may be discouraged.

But you’re not dead yet.

And that’s proof that you still have not completed what you were put on earth to do.

Question: Is this a new thought? What does it make possible in your life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.warriorshepherd.com/blog Dave Hearn

    We need to let young adults know the treasure they have in these heroes, leaders, and “priests.”

    • http://www.wadeoradio.com DJ Wade-O

      Great points. We are one of the few cultures here in States, who doesn’t highly esteem our elders. Asian and African countries view the older and wiser folks as pillars in their communities. They highly honor these folks and look to the, for wisdom. My generation needs to tke a page from this book

      • http://treyvancamp.com/ Trey

        I definitely agree as well. I recently went to Malaysia for a mission trip and witnessing was hard because they refused to dishonor their elders by turning to a different religion.
        While it was frustrating, I realized that Americans can benefit greatly from honoring their elders like they do.I am 20 years old and I hope to look up to my elders more.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Absolutely, Dave. In our busyness and self-importance, we miss one of our greatest resources. Those of us in the middle can make it a priority to seek out those who are older, wiser. But we can also teach our younger ones to do the same!

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    This was great Michael. It reinforces the mindset that I’m here for a purpose and that the purpose must not yet be complete. That means there’s something great still ahead for me. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes! You’re just getting started.

      [image: DISQUS]

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

    How to explain to the millions of starving children that’ll never make it to their second birthdays that God has a purpose for every single person? Doesn’t the grand assumption that a person won’t die until their “purpose” is fulfilled border on the cynical? 

    • NoelColeman

      I agree wholeheartedly with the fundamental point of this post, which I think is basically that if you are still breathing you can still make a difference somehow so you should keep trying.  However, I have to agree with Cyberquill’s point that we can’t make this a general philosophy.  Just because you’re alive doesn’t by default mean there is anything good in front of you.  That seems to be a bit of an American Gospel.  Nor does it mean that you won’t die until your purpose is fulfilled.  If that were taken to its logical end, I could theoretically just avoid fulfilling my purpose and live forever.  

      (I will say this to you, Cyberquill.  Even though we may not understand the purpose of a child dying before their second birthday that doesn’t mean that child didn’t serve a purpose.  And yes, I know that statement is all kinds of easy to argue with and be upset about.  Clearly I speak from a particular point of view on this.)All that said, there is always the potential for something good in our lives and that can inspire us to keep trying.  Maintaining your joy and perseverance through a right perspective is what we’re called to.  But because of who we follow, not because of what this life has to offer.  Either way, still a great post as it inspired thoughtful reactions and helps your readers press on and lean in.  Well done, Michael.  Thank you.

      • brad stanton

        I believe if you are alive Romans 8:28 says there are good things ahead of you. The Christian faith is all about love and faith, and faith means believing that there is a good relationship with God and good things ahead of us.

        • http://www.discussionsof.com/ Noel Coleman

          Thanks for your thoughts, Brad.  Honestly, I disagree with you, but to argue it would detract from the real point of the post so I won’t do that.  I say just keep living strong and I’ll see you on the other side.  

    • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

      Cyberquill, I can’t do anything for the millions of starving children except to believe and pray that God will make good out of the evil that is keeping people away from the source of life. Meanwhile, my responsibility is to love God with everything I have and to love my neighbor as I love myself. The manifestation of the power of God’s love has to start somewhere–and I am not being arrogant here–so let it start with me.

    • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

      Having lost a son of 21 years of age, trust me when I say that I do not understand God’s ways.  However, the scripture in Romans 8:28 “….all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose….” is what our family  leans on – and that’s what we believe through faith – not through understanding. 

      • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

        Louise –
        Great verse to lean on.  Praying.  

      • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

        Louise…thanks for sharing that.  This is the 2nd time that verse has crossed my path in the last few days.  Leaning….love that.

    • http://www.beyondthesinnersprayer.wordpress.com/ Barb

      Although there are definitely documented cases in Scripture where God had a purpose for people from birth, I don’t know whether we can assume it’s that way for all of us. (I would be curious to know.)

      It seems like there’s also a scenario like the parable of the talents where if He sees someone being faithful with a little, He’ll give them more – another ministry, another way to love people.

      As parents, we have kids because we think it will be wonderful. We want to know those kids and delight in them. Could God create people for the same reason – and if so, would even those little starving kids have fulfilled His purpose? 

      The wonderful thing about God is that He brings good out of even the worst situations. If life is about God, a life in heaven at 1 year old, is just as good as a life of 75 years accomplishing all sorts of God’s purposes on earth.

      • Bonnie Clark

        Hi – this is the scripture I would refer to if I was explaining that everyone has a purpose:
        Ephesians 2:10  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

        • http://www.beyondthesinnersprayer.wordpress.com/ Barb

          Thanks, Bonnie – that’s a good one.

    • anneemchughes

      Even in that there is purpose, as horrible as it comes across from planet earth on our cushy side of the planet. God is sovereign and there is nothing, absolutely nothing in His care that goes unnoticed or unfulfilled. If a child starves before his second birthday he is not condemned to hell for he is innocent. That child is immediately taken into the arms of the Savior for time and eternity. Perhaps his purpose was to show the world the need for outreach, living out Jesus command to feed His people. And that sweet little one did not have to live out a life on this world full of sin and distruction, battling the forces of evil at every turn.

      No, I don’t think assuming a person won’t die until their purpose is fulfilled is anywhere near cynical. Contrarily it seems more contemptuous to me to think one would die without purpose unless they were inherently evil and fated for the unholy abyss. We may not recognize a person’s purpose or see it as great from human perspective, but from a heavenly perspective, the concentric effect of any single word or action can alter the path of history. Just a wider view.

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

        Yes, a wider—and rather unsatisfactory—view commonly referred to as “God works in mysterious ways.”

        • MzFeeney

          Cyberquill, does everyone ALWAYS know why you do the things that you do? So why is it so awful that the Lord of the Universe, our most Holy God, doesn’t explain everything to lowly men? We struggle and hurt and long for answers, but our strength comes from knowing an Almighty God is in control FOR us.

        • Pierre O’Toole

          Quill – Someone just tried to offer something meaningful to help us understand. I think their intention was genuinely kind. I think that our ability to understand is somewhat commensurate with our willingness to be grateful. In other words, faith precedes the miracle.

  • http://RenovationMalaysiaHQ.com Renovation Malaysia

    I think this is a valuable post. Many older people lose a sense of purpose and very quickly begin to think they have nothing left to contribute. 

    Even my older relative in his early 50s don’t see she has anything to look forward to & loses their zest for life. Perhaps you can shed some light why this happens and how to put the seed of thought in our mind that we may minimize ourselves from asking something similar

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      This is why we need to keep reminding them (and ourselves) that we aren’t done yet. We aren’t!

      [image: DISQUS]

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      You’re right. Many people lose that sense of need as they get older. It’s vital that they’re reminded and encouraged that they’re valuable and needed. 

  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    Powerful thought! This is truly motivational. But it is more than that. It does give a valid reason to keep going forward full of hope when the going gets tough. It brings significance to what we do since we are fulfilling a divine mandate. It also builds urgency to finish what God began in us. I think Jesus’ statement in John 4:34 goes well with this thought. “The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started.” (John 4:34 – MSG)

    Great post, Michael.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Wonderful verse, Joe. Thanks.

      [image: DISQUS]

  • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

    Jimmy sounds like a wonderful man.  It would be an honor to meet him or hear more from him (you should get him to blog!).  And Andy Andrew’s book sounds like something I should read too.  

    I heard Joel Gregory preach a very similar idea many years ago.  You aren’t done til your purpose, the thing God has made you to do, is finished, and if you aren’t gone, you still have something to do (that may not be exactly what Dr. Gregory said, but it is what I remember as my take away).

    If we don’t keep looking forward, if we only look back, we will miss what God has for us.  

    Great post!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You will love The Noticer. It’s one of my all-time favorite books.

      [image: DISQUS]

      • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

        What is the random html showing up after each of your comments?  Actually, I think the problem is the URL is not in the quotes??

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          I switched e-mail clients and, for whatever reason, when I reply by e-mail it seems to be inserting this code.

  • http://www.skipprichard.com/ Skip Prichard

    Inspirational! We are all interconnected and part of something bigger than ourselves. Serving that purpose isn’t self-centered, but rather a contribution to the greater good. Thanks for encouraging everyone, no matter the stage, to find it and pursue it.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I agree. When we live in this perspective it can change everything. Even how we view the really hard times.

  • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

    I see my 78 year old father traveling around speaking on the lessons of leadership he learned in 40+ years in the military and 24 of them developing leaders at West Point and have him form inspiration.  

    I love that quote from the book.  It sums it all up.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That’s awesome Dave! I’m sure it’s helping to keep your father looking and feeling young. 

  • http://twitter.com/esggraphics Eric Gale

    I agree, that is you are still here, you still have something to contribute. The difficult part is trying to figure that out.

    You can’t go wrong quoting wisdom from Andy Andrews’ books. In helping me figure out why I am still here, The Traveler’s Gift and its 7 decisions was very helpful. The followup book to that, Final Summit, was also great- that 2 word answer should  get us all up and out of are seats to live the answer out.

  • JsHuston

    Thank You!

  • Valarie Miller Corl

    So needed to read this today.  Thank you for sharing, I passed it along.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Glad the post was helpful Valarie.  

  • Tim Godby

    I am wondering how the Seacoast Church Creative Team could possibly have read this new blog post and already have created a video to promote the new sermon series?? That brings creativity to an entirely new level!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      They read it when I first published it several years ago. I updated and re-posted it.

    • Kent Sanders

      I was wondering the exact same thing.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com/ Chris Jeub

    Just got word yesterday that a friend’s cancer is back. She is a 70-year-old treasure. This message comes at a most perfect time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/craig.cowley.524 Craig Cowley

    Brilliant post, thanks Michael. Some of the most passionate people I have ever had on my team are retired folk. Your post reiterates the incredible value each one has.

  • mikefreestone

    Inspiring way to start the day.  Here’s to being alive! 

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Instead of just being alive, t’s worth celebrating and then doing something about it isn’t it?

      • mikefreestone

        I agree Jeremy.  Everyday should be a celebration.  Thankful for another day God has given me.

  • http://twitter.com/JobCoachHQ Douglas Andrews

    Andy Andrews (no relation) and yourself are my 2 favorite bloggers and writers.  I take so much from both of you that I try live the principles that you 2 highlight often.  I loved the Noticer.  I have discovered that as time goes by, a nice way of saying as we get older, perception changes and we notice a lot more.  I think your reply to your friend was dead on, pun intended.  My only hope is that God’s list of what he wants me to accomplish is long!   What it makes possible in my life is that I welcome everyday and wonder/am excited about what the day will bring and how I will react to the challenges.  I’m still alive!

  • http://ayearinthespirituallife.blogspot.com/ Dayna Renee Hackett Bickham

    Oh Michael, thank you. “Your kids may not be speaking to you” hit something very deep in me. I have not spoken to my dad in years until just recently. I never thought I would want a relationship with him again. Now that I want one, I am not sure he does. This gives me hope that there is still room and time to learn to walk in love again with my dad. Thanks. 

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Dayna – Hoping everything works out with your dad.  

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      What a courageous comment and desire, Dayna. May God, who is able to redeem and reconcile impossible situations, work a miracle in this one!

  • http://www.paulbevans.com/ Paul B Evans

    Great thoughts. I definitely believe our best days CAN be ahead of us.

    Although, I would love some scriptural support for 1-6 above – Anna and Simeon were given that promise, but the general population? Is that just for the older generation who feel like they have reached their end? Especially #2.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I’ve always considered Phil. 1:6 to be an assurance of God’s determination to finish His work in each one of us: “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

  • http://dalemelchin.wordpress.com/ Dale Melchin

    This was a very much needed post for me, today.  Thank you.

  • EK

    Thank you. I needed to hear that today.


  • http://www.wadeoradio.com DJ Wade-O

    Great way to start a Monday off. Wow!

    Time to go to work!!!

  • http://christiannick.wordpress.com/ ChristianNick

    Great reminder this morning. It encourages me to actively look for one of these individuals and begin learning!

  • Bill Brown

    Great post and for me the last sentance has “and that is to lead peoplr to Him” added.

  • P Stubbings

    Michael, a really thought provoking article. An encouragement that every single living person is valued by God and has a purposed filled destiny. Awesome.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I particularly like what you are saying about value. It doesn’t come natural to see eveyr person as having value, but I believe it is true.

  • matthew harkness

    It’s amazing who the busyness of life can get in the way of asking the most important question….

  • Candace

    I get the purpose of the post… Helpful perspective… For many….but I wonder is the opposite true? For those who have died accidentally and violently was there purpose fulfilled? Appreciate thoughtful responses….how does a sermon series like this speak to those that have died we we perceive as prematurely….

    • annepeterson

      Candace, I too, have wondered about this having lost a sister to domestic violence. We love having free will, but some people experience the tragic result of others exercising their free will. I think this post speaks to those who are left behind. 

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        Think of Stephen who wad stoned at the hands of others—or even Jesus. Did they fulfill their purpose? I think we have to view purpose from Gods’ perspective.

        By the way, I know this must be very difficult, having lost a sister. I am so sorry.

        • annepeterson

          You’re right, we need to view purpose from God’s perspective, but like Peter, sometimes the wave and winds get our focus off of the Lord.

          Thank you for acknowledging my loss. It was compounded by her disappearance of over 20 years and by the fact we never retrieved her body. Then 8 years ago in court her husband was found not guilty.

          Because of reading your book platform I submitted a 300 word blog to Midday Connection about God helping me in the courtroom and it was accepted and posted just two days ago. Thank you for your writing.

          And if you did lose a sister as well, I’m sorry for your loss. I would rather err on the side of misreading than overlooking.

      • Steve

        When I see, hear of, or experience a tragedy or loss of life seemingly cut short, I often think of it this way… I may not (and will not) understand some of the mysteries of God, creation, and the universe. However I do find comfort in knowing this is Not the end of the story. One day, ALL things will be healed and restored. One day I will see my brother who took his own life, as well as my son (who was still-born 7 years ago). Until then, may we all stay in tune with the rhythms of life and be aware of opportunities of impact when they arise.

        • annepeterson

          A great reminder, this is NOT the end of the story. If it were, we would be most miserable. I am always saddened to hear of a baby’s death. How hard that must have been. What a great day it will be when we are all reunited with those who have gone on. When death is put to death.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I answer this in the comments that follow (scroll down). Thanks.

  • Su@TheIntentionalHome

    I long for Jimmy’s in my life.  I agree that we all have a God-given, God-sized purpose, dream that we are to fulfill.  But I am struggling with that #2: You won’t die until that purpose is fulfilled.  I think I need some Scripture to support that (I will look for that today). What about the husband and father of 2 that dies tragically in a car accident by drunk driver (true story)?  Or the 2 year old that dies of cancer (true story?)  But I get what you are saying and what you told Jiummy. . .if you are still here on earth, God can and will use you.  You are still available to join Him in His work.  You still can hear Him and obey Him.  Will talk with God thruout the day about this. . and with hubby at night.  I enjoy your blog.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I totally get what you are saying. But who is to say that the the man killed by the drunk driver or the two-year-old didn’t fulfill their purpose. I think we have to view our purpose from God’s perspective—not what we think we should accomplish but the reason for which he created us.
      One verse is Acts 13:36: “For *David*, after he had served his own * generation* by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers.”

      [image: DISQUS]

      • FGHart

        I believe that God is sovereign. What we might see as tragedies are events working in accordance with God’s plan. Although the perspective shift is no easy task, it’s what we must pursue – a view of God’s kingdom, from the throne where he reigns. 

        • Su@TheIntentionalHome

          Yeah, I get it. We are not God. We do not see the way He sees. We never will. We will never be able to fully understand Him. And His ways are big.  It is just hard to say. . .that a 2 year old dying or a husband/dad killed was God’s plan. I mean He can work those tragic events for good. .and I beleive He does. But for some reason #2 did not sit right (perhaps because my thinking is not God’s) thus the reason to go look at Scripture.Thanks for the verse. . I will look that up and noodle on this today.  Thanks for a thought provoking post. 

          • FGHart

            Su, Here are some references for consideration: 
            Job and God have an interesting exchange on this topic in chapters 38-42. 
            Romans 11:33-36 offers eloquent praise of God’s sovereignty, despite our own lack of understanding. 
             (I needed this reminder today. Thanks for prompting me to search for these verses) 

          • http://www.paulbevans.com/ Paul B Evans

            Hi Sue, I think all of us who have experienced tragic loss wrestle with #2. My first wife passed away in my arms at age 24. Our son was 5 weeks old at the time. 

            Had Sherri “lived her purpose” and then was “called home” because “God needed her more than we did?”


            I am not saying she didn’t live with purpose or make a difference, she did. But she certainly could have accomplished more.

            Plus, I don’t believe each person has a “specific” purpose or assignment. Although I do believe we all have a general purpose as part of God’s plan. http://paulbevans.com/gods-will-for-my-life/

            You’re not going to find in scripture that we don’t die if we haven’t completed our purpose or that we will die once we’ve completed it. (As mentioned above, Simeon received that promise Luke 2:26.) Personally, I feel that if you are NOT going to die until something specific happen, I think you’ll get word on that.

            However, I DO agree with the premise that we’re never too old to contribute and make an impact. We can even do greater things in the future than the past. 

          • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

            I’m probably going to be the lone voice here–but, as long as we have choice, God is not sovereign in our lives (Deuteronomy 30:15-20). Over and over (James 1:13-17 and Isaiah 54:15-17 are examples), the Bible talks of God’s goodness and His inability to do evil. Without going into a lengthy explanation, here is the way I’ve come to see it–God is not sovereign in our lives, BUT His absolute love is greater than anything the kingdom of evil throws at us. This is why God wants us to love Him with every thing we have–He wants to bring us to the place where He can give us the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom we need to overcome and defeat the evil that is so persistent in our world. This is what Job learned from God when God reached down and pulled him onto the solid rock of His character–rather than relying on what others had told him, Job decided to be bold and demand answers from God.

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

           Yeah, that’s what all this boils down to, right? is God sovereign or not! I believe that He is—even when (especially when) i don’t understand it!

      • Jason

        I read these very verses to our congregation yesterday during our Growth Travk Essentials

        Solid post Michael

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    Such a great opportunity for anyone at any age to think about living with purpose!

  • Cyrienne

    My mum passed away on May 20th this year, just a few weeks ago and it heartens me to know that her purpose was fulfilled. She was an incredible mother and I have a new sense of inspiration to become a better mother myself to my beautiful darling daughter, and to value my family over and above my career and to take immense pride in being a mother. I told the funeral director she was “just a housewife” … oh how underestimated these words are. How dare I reduce my mother to that. She is so much more and the immense depth and breadth of her love, her unconditional sweet sweet love will be with me forever. What a wondrous gift. And how uplifting it is now that God has this very love for us, eternal love.
    What else is there to say … thank you for this beautiful post. 

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I’ve heard so many stories of “praying grandmothers,” who pray every day for their children, their friends, and all their grand-kids. The testimonies of these great saints who gently tug at those that have gone astray for years on end, are amazing. I know my grandmother was instrumental in changing my young life. She was always my rock, when the rest of the world was falling apart. I miss her dearly!

    • FGHart

      John, I am actively developing my own “praying grandmother” role in this world. Your words encourage me. 

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I want to be a praying mother, and (one day) grandmother!

  • Jane

    An oft quoted line around our house from Monty Python, “I’m not dead yet!”  has just taken on new meaning – thank you!!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Love that quote.

  • Trinitymg

    Thank You..I needed that

  • FGHart

    I thought this was profound when I first read it in The Noticer, and I feel the same way rereading these principles today. I’ve shared this sentiment with others (always recommending the book) and find this thought is invariably appreciated. I am learning to take each day as a step along the journey of fulfillment for God’s purpose. 

  • John

    powerful, our older adults have such wisdom to pass along, I love sitting and talking with the older adults at our church or wherever I get the opportunity — “life’s experiences” give them so much to pass along to us.  

  • http://themarriagechecklist.com/ Dr. Ann

    What a moving story. Yes, I hold on to the bedrock of God’s plans and provisions being perfect.  I think that as we inevitably age, this becomes the truth that we have no choice but to cling to!

  • Dick

    This concept, when articulated this way, is quite empowering.  It helps me get out of bed with a bounce in my step.  Thanks you!

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    Talk about an attention grabbing title! 

    The Noticer is one of my top 10 favorite books of all times.  I definitely believe God has a plan for my life, and (perhaps selfishly) I hope that plan includes seeing my grandchildren. I want to be a woman of integrity and purpose, and I seek the knowledge to do the works he prepared in advance for me to do.

  • 1sgromero

    Great Post
    I am US Army Soldier serving in Afghanistan; I just want to let you know that your word of wisdom have change my life forever and I thank you for that.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thank you for your service to our country!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Thanks for all you do! Blessings and prayers!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Grateful for you!

  • Derek Hanisch

    Thanks for this post.  I needed it this morning.  For me, this is a lesson I know very well, but often forget.  I should be dead at least three times for now.  When I was 12 I was in a car accident that the police said should have killed the whole family.  We walked away without a scratch.  When I was 17 I was diagnosed with cancer and given a very slim chance of survival.  When I was 21 I suffered from massive depression and literally came within half an inch of taking my own life.  

    Yet… The Lord delivered me through all of that.  I know He still has a purpose for me.  Even this Last month God’s been doing amazing things.  

    God does not call the equipped – He equips the called.  I think life is all about becoming equipped so that we can complete our purpose.  

  • karin hurt

    This is an inspiring view.  I think people of all ages hit walls from time to time, wondering if they are making enough of a difference.  There is so much to learn and offer throughout our whole lives… the nature in which we do that evolves and that is exciting.  I continue to be absolutely inspired by my long-time mentors who have more to offer with each year.

  • selahblog

    Michael, couldn’t agree more. This is simply inspirational and what I call the God-intended life. Thanks for all you do and for inspiring lives with hope.


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1349439689 Janet Birkey

    As an older graduate, (I earned my BS at 46), I knew that I wanted to complete my Master’s ASAP. I have now earned both, and am looking toward a doctoral program. It is not always easy to feel that I am just starting on a career where many folks in my age-bracket are well-versed  and comfortable, and I often feel behind the 8-ball in this area. I continually remind myself, but I also thank you for the reminder, that not in spite of my age, but because of it, I have life experience that those in their 20s simply cannot have.

  • http://blog.momekh.com/ Momekh

    B E A utiful! 

    What’s doubly cool, is that you inspired someone who has inspired you before. Surely this is God’s blessing that one gets to do a thing like this. Rock on! :)

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      It is beautiful. You never know how you will be used or what God will use do you?

  • http://actuallykatie.com/ Katie McAleece

    This IS a new thought. Or maybe it’s just that you’ve put a fresh twist on a thought that not many of us really take to heart: we will not die until God is finished with us.

    I sincerely love the things you share on this website. Uplifting, encouraging, and thought-provoking. I appreciate every post, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Katie. I appreciate that.

      [image: DISQUS]

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    It’s not a new thought but it is a great reminder for me!

  • annepeterson

    Michael, I loved this post. It will be something I reread when fears threaten to immobilize me. God’s timing is impeccable though we may not always agree with it. While I believe that we can learn so much from those who are seasoned, I also believe we can learn from anyone. Having lost a lot of people in my life, after reading your post, I find myself wondering what their purposes were. But perhaps that would be counterproductive. The point is, I’m not done yet if I’m still breathing. Thanks so much for posting this. 

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       I agree, Anne. I thought this post was a great antidote to fear.

  • http://www.marymeetsmartha.com/ Mitzi

    Last week someone told me I spend too much time with old people.  First, I wanted to laugh, considering we’ve both just celebrated our 40th, old is closer than you think, but then I was saddened by all she’s missing. 
    My older friends are such a treasure.  I value their experience and wisdom AND their urgency to fulfill their purpose today.
    My OLD friends give me clarity, keeping me focused on God’s purpose for my own life.
    Thanks for this post celebrating the value of every single person.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I think you’re right, Mitzi. There is so much wisdom to be learned from our older friends.

  • Yesheua

    This post is a lifeline to so many. I am a 28 year old that works in leadership at a church with people in their twilight years and I teach community music classes for senior citizens. I often find myself offering encouragement to them to keep going. God has good plans and a future for each of us no matter the age. Thank you for the post; I let out a quiet “Amen!” after reading it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Taylor/1286512656 Brian Taylor

    This is not a new thought. In fact I have believed this for years. What hasn’t killed you, Truly makes you stronger. I have face many trials over the last few years, including joblessness. I am still optimistic about my life and that of my family. My personal mantra is, ” I may be without a job, but I am never without a work.” God is so doing something big, and people will soon see the fruit of it.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I think that is a great attitude to help you get through such a tough time.

    • http://twitter.com/JoshuaWRivers Joshua Rivers

      Good thought, Brian. Just to add to it a little: what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, but only if you let it.

  • Serpas623

    GOD has a purpose for all of us. I have struggled with this for many years and I am only now letting myself give in even more to GOD. It is always tough to see his purpose and plan for us but we must be willing to let go. Thank you for writin this blog today. I needed to read it.

  • KLJohnson

    Such a good point.  Psalm 139, David writes of how God has pre-ordained each day of our life before there was yet one of them.  In the 2003 Tim Burton Film “Big Fish,” the main character looks into a witches eye and sees how he will die.  This creates an approach to life that is stripped of fear and anxiety and full of purpose and meaning.  I’ve thought of this film in regard to Psalm 139 and really the point you make in this post.  Although none of us are looking into a witches eye, we can be confident that there is a purpose for each of us until our last day.   And, regardless of how that last day comes upon us, we don’t have to be surprised by it.  It was “pre-ordained” by God and so we can live without fear and full of purpose and meaning, knowing that if we’re not gone yet, there’s still something more for us to contribute!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Great Illustration~

  • Vsbrowning

    This reminds me of a quote by Less Brown, “Most people could be buried beneath a tombstone that reads ‘Dead But Not Used Up Yet'”. There is so much to give within each of us. However, life’s circumstances can get us down. It’s at these points that we need a friend like Jimmy’s to remind us of the greater purpose(s) for which we were born. Thanks for the post today.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      That quote is helpful in casting a vision for our lives. Our goal should be to give it all. To be ocmpletely used up. Thanks.

  • Randy

    I couldn’t disagree more! While the concept is sound and partially true, this is a dangerous thing to think. 

    You are still alive because because you are alive. God is love and that is why you exist. It is the same as a gardener who has a green house full of beautiful plants they love to take care of and watch grow. The purpose of those plants is to fulfill the need in the gardener to love.

    My purpose is to be loved, and if the side effect of my existence fulfills someones concept of “purpose” than great. 

    Thinking, “I’m alive because I have a purpose” just isn’t enough for me, and it never was. 

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I think the two are related. Our purpose is found in the love. We understand his love for us better by living out that love for others. God’s love is too much just to experience for ourselves. Our purpose comes in showing it to others.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill


      Thanks for your comment and I agree that there is much more here than meets the  eye.

      What if the gardener was taking care of the plant in order to give it away? Would the love for the plant be any less? Would the plant have a designed purpose that the plant is unaware of? does the Gardner have the right? I think there is a mystery here that can’t be 100% answered—right? I think you mentioned that at the beginning of your comment!

      Thanks again for making us think it through.

  • Dennis Edward

    Thank you for such an uplifting post! It is such an encouragement in times like these when you feel like praying, “O God, take me, I can´t handle it any more.” Maybe there is something more He wants us to accomplish or learn or do or be for others. I was reading in Psalm 71 today and these prayer promises spoke to me: verses 8&9: “Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honor all the day. Cast me not off in the time of old age (here I am only 63, but feeling washed up) Forsake me not when my strength faileth.” ( It is not so much the physical strength, but the spiritual strength to keep up the fight in times like these of intense economical insecurity). Later in verse 17 & 18: “O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grey headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” We all need the encouragement of others and the adjustment to older age can be a tremendous battle. God bless you, I enjoyed the post!

  • http://www.charlielyons.ca/ Charlie Lyons

    LOVE this, Michael. Thanks for the clear insight. My own blog post this morning (http://www.charlielyons.ca/2012/06/4-parenting-skills) was on the greatest earthly task I have, and that’s investing in my wife and children. If I don’t do this well, everything else doesn’t matter nearly as much. No family –> no ministry.

    Thanks again!

  • http://metalmotivation.com/ C. J. – The Metal Motivator

    The word “retire” ain’t in the Bible, and that’s one of the wonderful things about being a son or daughter of God. As believers, we are not subject to the imposed timeline(s) of society: kindergarten at 5; graduate at 18; four years of college, and retire at 65. If we are “Kingdom-driven”— viz. maximizing our resources for a purpose greater than ourselves—then every stage or season of our lives is saturated with meaning and our work is never done. That’s a delightful testimony, Michael. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/LisaAnnSchmidt Lisa Schmidt

    Before I became a full-time at-home mom, I worked in city management. I left behind a “dream job” as an assistant city manager in a growing, affluent, highly respected suburb. The community was so blessed, and I was shocked and saddened to hear many co-members of the management team say things like: “I have 7 years to retirement.” “Things didn’t used to be like this.” “It was so better under Mayor XYZ.”  7 years until retirement? When I heard that my response was something like: Great! 7 years is plenty of time to get some big things done while you are still here. So let’s get busy … in other words, you aren’t dead yet! 

  • http://twitter.com/JulieSunne1 Julie Sunne

    Wow, Michael! The truths in this post need to be shouted to the world–a world where we value youth and productivity over wisdom and life. I have a daughter with significant disabilities, and even though the world doesn’t always see it, she has purpose. I know because she is here, because God chose to place her here. Her purpose is not fulfilled yet. You affirmed what I believe with my whole heart! This concept definitely needs to be in the “hope in brokenness” book I’m currently working on. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      You are right. We definitely live in a culture that puts value in youth and productivity over the wisdom gained from a life well lived.  I need to do better at that myself—value those who have much to teach!

    • Dennis Edward

      Sounds like a beautiful book from the heart of a mother who has been there!

  • http://twitter.com/JoshuaWRivers Joshua Rivers

    This is an interesting thought. God definitely has a purpose for all of us – young and old. I teach a teen Sunday School class and Bible classes in our Junior High/High School. I am trying to show them from the Bible that God has a purpose of each of them. Too many times, young people don’t realize that God has a purpose for them, so they just wander around doing what they want to do. They (maybe I should say ‘we’) don’t take the time to stop and think about what God’s desire is for our life.

    In the instance with this post, even in older years, God has a purpose for us. I don’t think I can say that “the best is ahead,” but He definitely has a purpose. It may be just to teach the younger generations some life lessons by telling stories from years gone by. Or maybe even more simplistic. God’s plans are not always high and lofty. Sometimes He needs us to take care of the little things in life.

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    I’ve learned to focus on life and not on death. Each day, if I love God with everything I have and love my neighbor as I love myself, then I have done enough for that day. And, if each day, I choose life and blessings and I don’t choose death and cursings, then life wins…

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” (Deut. 30:19) Great verse, Patricia. Thanks for reminding me of it!

  • Joe Pliss

    I had to reply to this, to your friend.  I’m 52.  
    A year ago my wife introduced me to John, 85.  John had just been diagnosed with pancreatic
    cancer, but he was still active enough.  
    He had as his final goal in life to formalize a trail system through the
    remaining woods in our suburban town.  


    Over the next year, I met with John and a few others nearly
    every Saturday morning out on the trails.  
    John would say, “trail maintenance can be very satisfying.”  He said that a lot.  Though he spoke sparingly, I soon learned to
    appreciate the beauty and wisdom of this man.  
    I did not see an old man looking at a terminal illness.   I saw someone with a trove of knowledge,
    insight, and grace.   At my age, with a
    life of discovering compromises, I thought I would never run into someone that
    I would look up to so much. 


    John reconnected me to the beauty of nature and right within
    5 minutes of my house.   He’s blessed me
    with a project I’m barely worthy of.  
    And he allowed me to see how to die. 
    As I write this, John probably died last night.  The timing of this post compelled me to respond.    You have much to give, and there are people
    like me with much need.

  • http://twitter.com/MattMcWilliams2 Matt McWilliams

    Love it Michael. 

    A pastor friend of mine once said “You are invincible until you have done all that God has called you to do.” 

    That means no fear of failure, no fear of death, no fear of anyone or anything. Only God can take my life and He will not do it until I have done all that He says I can and will.

  • Beyondchatter

    There could not have been a more appropriate post today. I have been fighting this raging battle for some time and needed this message.  blessings to all.

  • PAC

    Thank you for this. It came at the right time for me when I too was asking the same type of question after some setbacks and trying to figure out what’s ahead. I appreciate your post.

  • http://twitter.com/philrothschild Philip Rothschild

    Excellent post Mike. It reminds me to always begin with the end in mind and make the most of every day.

  • Angela

    I needed that today. Thank you. I have children that don’t speak to me and don’t want to know me. I was wondering will i die and never get to know them?? However I can still have hope and I do. For what is a life without hope…..for God to turn his back on you? Just because I am meant to be loved doesn’t mean I am loved. Tell that to Randy. I will cling to that hope that someday the tide will turn and i am once again part of that loving family and soldier on. I will continue hoping lest I die in despair. And for those of you who read this who are loved, please relish and enjoy every moment. You have no idea how truly lucky you are.

  • Rick Carr

    Thanks. I needed that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Neff/100000638109159 Robert Neff

    Thank you, Michael!  I am 78 and have just submitted my first book proposal (Through CMS), have just launched my first blog, and am wondering what-in-the-world I am doing.  Your posts along this line of instruction/inspiration are very, very, very much appreciated.  From an old warrior.  God bless you.

  • http://danielallen.me/ Daniel Allen

    It’s not a new thought for me, Michael. My leadership professor in seminary was Bobby Clinton. Bobby’s research points out that God shapes leaders through distinct phases, all pointing to those leaders making an ultimate contribution based on giftedness, character, and context. He discusses 12 ultimate contributions, but what is striking is how some leaders, those who continue to walk intimately with God and live into God’s purposes, actually reach a phase in life called “Afterglow.” In afterglow people seek them out for their life wisdom – wisdom saturated by character. 
    Unfortunately his research points out that most leaders finish poorly not well. Most never see afterglow. But because of his research, instruction, and exhortation through the years, I’ve set myself a goal of finishing well. 
    Thanks so much for your encouragement to Jimmy. I’m encouraging my mom and dad right now, who are in their late 70s but with much love and wisdom still to share.

  • CherryOdelberg

    This is not a new thought; but a much needed reminder. It means that I must get up and go again, up and take another, with ever more experience and wisdom to focus on life. 
    How to find that purpose?  That is the question.  “Whatever my hand finds to do,” sounds too much like aimless wandering.

  • http://www.shannonmilholland.blogspot.com Shannon Milholland

    Michael, I do a retreat series on this very topic and am so excited to have a new resource to read and freshen up my talks with. Andy is so great, I’m sure I’ll get a couple good quotes from his book. Thanks!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Maybe more than a couple. ;)

      • http://www.shannonmilholland.blogspot.com Shannon Milholland

        You got that right!

  • http://twitter.com/lornafaith Lorna Faith

    I feel the same way…”Then I better get busy. It sounds like I’ve got a lot of work to do.”  So true…I’m not dead yet, so I guess that means I have yet to make my most important contribution. This is so similar to what I shared today on my blog about thinking about and then doing ‘what moves you’…something that’s bigger than ourselves :-)  Awesome post!

  • http://samthatte.com Sam Thatte

    Very inspiring post. I need that on my wall in the office! Thank you for that. BTW I am loving ‘Platform’!

  • Jeff Vankooten

    Fantastic post. Life is meant to be lived moment by moment, knowing that each one provides a critical opportunity to make a difference no matter your age. The fact that you aren’t dead yet shouldn’t preclude the fact that you will die- that healthy admission also propels one forward to make the most of life’s moments.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Great point, Jeff. It’s recognition of BOTH truths that have the greatest power to change how we live today.

  • Dpowell

    Just had a similar conversation with my wonderful 91 year old mother in law. She is wheel-chair bound, but has a ministry of touching lives and impacting people. She has always been ‘on the go’ but now, people come to her. Home visits and folks wanting to treat her to lunch are the norm. Wisdom and encouragement are her specialty. I’ve been blessed to be her daughter (in law) and have her in my life for more than 35 years. She sets an example that I want to follow. 

  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    This is not a new thought – but one that I have been reminded of several times in the last 4 weeks.  Jerry Baker with Building Champions made the comment at our company’s annual meeting “….my best years are ahead of me….” and I do believe that was the “quote” of the meeting!  Several people were impacted by that statement – “….my best years are ahead of me….”

  • http://www.themakegoodchoicesproject.org/ Michael Hawkins

    This post is SO timely.  I recently had the same sort of conversation with myself.   But, shame on me, I’m 30 years younger than your friend.

    I’ve come to realize (thankfully) that I have a TON of good stuff that I can contribute before I leave the earth.

    My recent speech to a bunch of sixth-graders and the launch of my newest project, TheMakeGoodChoicesProject.org, are two indicators that I’m far from being ‘done’ yet.

    To quote the title of a recent series at our church (www.gccwired.com), “If you’re not dead, then you’re not done.”  Amen!

    Thanks for sharing this post!

  • Eagleskyeview

    This is awesome!  Having an autoimmune disease, I rarely know from week to week how I am going to be.  But this has sparked a flame within, and, I believe, the impetus to continue on in my growth as a leader in my local church.  Having completed the first Leadership Essentials class that was just offered for the people in church, I thought it odd that I had never experienced a class on how to be a leader in the church until now.  I understand that churches are just coming to the knowledge that to reach more people, both within and outside the local churches, but I see so many in congregations today that are struggling to reach outside the church because the passion for winning souls is, or is on the way to, being silenced forever.  But, if we can increase our listening to hearing the wealth of wisdom coming from the most mature of our congregations, we will see that we need every single person to make our local congregations vibrant and inviting to the younger generation of leaders coming behind us.  May we each catch the passion once again to speak to our up and coming leaders and tell them that we stay alive for them, for what they may learn from us, and for the vision we have for our local church, because where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18).  I know I will be coming back here often, because I know I have a lot to accomplish as well, both in my own life, and in the life of my local church, to make it passionately alive for the gospel of Christ, to be a leader in the ranks, and to be totally sold out, 100% plus, for the things that God is birthing within my spirit.

  • http://www.the-white-stone.blogspot.com Brian Owen

    What a great reminder.

    Am I the only one who now has a line from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” running through his head?

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      No, you definitely were not alone on that one!

      “I’m feeling better!”

  • Pegi Richardson

    Reading this today is in God’s perfect timing to share with my 82 year old mother.  She & I recently discussed  this very topic. Thank you! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaroncz Aaron Chavez

    This was great. Thank you for sharing I find a lot of young people asking the same question. Your response is a great tool that I will use from now on.

  • Teri Smith

    So inspiring! I just read this to my 84 year old mother and she smiled.

  • Martha Ramirez

    What a great post! And what a good reminder! Love it!

  • Jpoitras

    Great point. God has placed me on the earth with a purpose. Gotta run! Ther’s lots of work left to do!

  • http://www.todaysencouragingwordonline.com/ deni

    I shared this blog via a link up with my readers.  I write a blog “Encouraging Words” for folks with chronic illness.  I think, more than most folks, those of us who struggle with chronic pain and illness wonder why in the world we are still alive with all we deal with on a daily basis.  I could write no better words in response to this question.  Thank you so very much for this post.  

  • http://twitter.com/xwap729 Stephanie Washington

    This is not a new thought for me but I am so impressed at how you were able to pull all these critical elements of ‘purpose’ and share them with us in such a succinct fashion!  

    When I read your post, my Monday became much brighter in that I still struggle at times with God’s timeline for me and my purpose.

    It was great to be reminded that the ‘best is yet to come’!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Awesome. I am so glad!

  • http://viewsfromtheouthouse.blogspot.com/ Mark S. R. Peterson

    Wow – this hit me doubley as I read this blog–I had to wipe away a few tears.

    First, last night, a young man (husband and father of three) from my hometown passed on to the Lord last night from a long fight with cancer–although, in reading the Caringbridge posts from his wife, it was his time to go and he seemed to already contribute much.

    Second, my wife (and best friend) was diagnosed last year with AML (leukemia) and although it’s going to be a long road, test results are still positive.  Our faith is strong, and to realize that she has much more work to do warms our hearts as we plan the next phase of our lives.  I will be sharing this blog post with her.

    God bless, Mike!

  • http://www.VirginiaBasyeCarr.com/ Virginia Basye Carr

    I have often pondered this concept and believed it to be true. Now that I’m in my early 60s, I feel a sense of urgency like never before, a sense of no time to waste. Luke 19:13 comes to mind that we are to “occupy till I come.” To hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:23) should be the goal of every child of God. I look forward to His coming, but in the meantime I will “occupy.” Thank you for this insightful post.

  • Robin

    I get your encouraging words every single day on email.  To be honest, I hardly ever read them.  They’re usually about being a success.  It’s hard to read about being a success when I really feel like a dreadful failure.  I guess I just don’t want to be reminded that I am a human being with very lethal depression who will, what appears to be without a doubt, have very bad, bad days.  The days turn to weeks and I fear to the depths of my being that they will never go away.  I continuously wish I was dead.  I feel I am of no further value to this earth.  I feel that even if I have good days to come, they come as a teaser to what inevitably lies ahead…more depression that sucks the very joy, hope, peace, focus, purpose, and life out of me.

    Though I know that there’s no condemnation in Christ…I guess I just condemn myself.  How could a Holy Spirit filled, walking, talking Child of God be overcome with this doom? How could He not condemn me for conniving and dwelling on reasons why I shouldn’t be living and ways to take my own life and just be with Him?  I have no answers, but I know that in my heart of hearts, despite how I “feel”, I believe in the God who sent His Son to die in my place and who loves me unconditionally…and promised that He had a plan for my life full of purpose, hope, and prosperity not harm.  I long to wrap this tightly in my heart and mind when times are as they are, yet at these times it seems that doubt and fear intensify the panic and doom that lurk to swallow me up into oblivion.

    Yet, today, via this email I have been reassured that God is not done with me…that He really can use me despite this horrifying depression that overtakes me…that possibly God hasn’t allowed me to die (despite my best attempts) because my purpose is not yet fulfilled.  This sprinkles hope within me.  I pray it can rain!

    • http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com/ Cynthia Herron

      Robin, I prayed for you just now. The Enemy would like nothing better than for us to give in, give up, and loosen our “armor.” Just know, without a doubt, you are a masterpiece in the making, designed and created by our almighty God. While depression is a very real physical/psychological manifestation that should be medically treated, our Heavenly Father is still the Great Physician whose vision far surpasses the one you have for yourself.

      You DO have a purpose. And I’m praying that God sends a gullywasher of blessing your way!

      • Robin

        Thanks so much Cynthia. 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Today I will pray for rain!

      • Robin

        Oh, Barry…thanks…

  • JaysonFeltner

    I loved the quotes from The Noticer.  While watching Andy speak at my church a while back, he really hit me when he said “we’re all either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or headed for a crisis.”   The fact that God hasn’t called us up, however, means we’re all still fulfilling a purpose and still effecting others.

  • http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com/ Cynthia Herron

    Thank you for being a conduit of blessing today!

  • Anthony Gitonga

    Surely the greatest days are ahead of us. That is point on Mike. God will give you work till your life is done and life till your work is done. If you think you are old enough to be used consider Noah, Abraham,and the host of others.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      I say this to my wife a lot—especially when things are looking bleak. “out best days are still in front of us.” I love that idea. I don’t think it’s pollyannish either. I don’t mean that everything will always be “better” but the perspective that we deal with the good and bad in life is always getting more and more refined!

  • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

    Michael – 
    You have written a ton of great posts. Personally this is the best I have read written by you. Very inspiring and encouraging.

  • http://www.ericamcneal.com/ Erica McNeal

    Still love this post from the first time I read it. Love the video too!! Great thoughts to keep in mind Mike!

  • http://www.mjmonaghan.com/ mj monaghan

    What fantastic advice. So many people get discouraged that they have nothing to offer unless it’s something grand. So much in life happens in the routine, mundane details that make someone else’s life more meaningful. We’ll never know our impact until we’re gone. But in the mean time … let’s get it on!

    • Jim Martin

      mj, I appreciate the point you make here.  You are right.  So much happens in the routine.  We often focus instead of what seems to be important or even spectacular.  Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/katia.kantziavas Katia Kantzia Vas

    Both, Andrew’s book and your post, Michael, are wonderful and inspirational!
    The idea that we are not dead yet because we are not ready to die yet is not a new one to me. Don’t ask me how, but I always  “knew” this. Maybe from the teachings of the gospels; maybe my way of trying to deal with the loss of my father at the age of 60 and my sister’s at 45, of other young people as well. To make their early departure more meaningful, I had to believe that their soul was ready or needed to leave dispite the fact that they left behind people who counted on them and unfinished business. On the oposite side, I  believe that we are still here because we need to mature and reach the highest level of spirituality, virtue, faith and trust in God, to believe that He is waitng for us to be ready and pure enough to meet Him, as well as having “sang our song”, have made good use of the talent or charisma He gave us .  What I am not sure of, however, is how do we know what that charisma is, if it is more than to love, take care of…, and help others?

  • Mark Dutton

    All I have to say is thank you! 100 times!

  • http://www.ministriesbydesign.org/ Penelope Swithinbank

    I think it was George Elliot who wrote that it is never too late to be who you were meant to be. And I concur.  WHO is different to WHAT however, and it seems to me that the WHO is who we are in Christ. As that is the most important part of being, I agree that it is never too late – right up until the time of death. 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      I would almost take that one step further— it will almost certainly take my whole life to be who I am supposed to be! I don’t think I will ever get there this side of glory! I love that quote! Thank You!

  • Rita Garcia

    Love this post! 

  • MatthewHexter

    This is great! It reminds me of a question posed to me by a good friend last year: Are you living today like it’s the first day of the rest of your life? Or your last day? If I live today like it’s the first day of the rest of my life, then I’ll procrastinate and put off the important things until tomorrow. I presume upon God that I’ll live a few more decades. On the contrary, if I live today like it’s my last, I tend to cast aside all the fluff and really focus on the important things: Telling my wife and kids I love them (and giving them bear hugs to boot), chasing after God with every breath, and pursuing those things for which He has given me clear direction. 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      I love this distinction. But, if it were really my last day I would quit my job and take my wife and kids to the beach! :)

      • Rick Veenstra

        Matthew, Barry,
        Martin Luther is supposed to have said: “If I knew Jesus would return tomorrow, I’d still plant that apple tree today.”
        I’m not sure about the historic validity of this attribution, but it surely leaves no place for procrastination. And it’s fully in line with Jesus own answer to a question about the times to come, in Acts 1:6-8

  • KeithFerrin

    I read the book of James this morning and was reminded again of the twin themes of humbly drawing near to God and the “doing” of our faith. Seems like the nearer we draw to God, the more likely we will be to hear His reminder of WHO we are and WHAT He desires of us. At that point, the doing-of-the-thing becomes a more natural outcome of that relationship. 

    When we do what comes from an identity discovered and cultivated in the nearness of God, ALL that we do will be purposeful.

    Oh…and any 80-year-old that is still humbly asking IF he has anything to offer is someone who DOES have much – very much – to offer. I’d love to take that guy to lunch.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Wow. I love this! As a ministry “professional” I am constantly wrestling with the drawing near to God and the doing for God.  But, like you said, the best scenario is when our doing is an outpouring of our being! LOVE IT!

    • Jim Martin

      Keith, I really like the way you express the idea of drawing near to God and doing our faith.  Very good!  I also think that as we draw nearer to God, we are more likely to learn who we are and what he wants us to do.

      • KeithFerrin

        I feel so strongly that the “living out” of our faith must come from a place of IDENTITY…not morality. We cheapen it – and reduce the power of it – when we reverse those. And we can’t know our identity apart from nearness.

  • RichProcter

    A timely contribution from Mr. Hyatt. Several times in my life I thought I was done…and it always turned out to be a new beginning. A door closes, a door opens. What I thought was the worst moment of my life — getting divorced from my high school sweetheart after 22 years…turned out to be the BEST thing — a new marriage, and a wonderful daughter, the light of my life. Keep going. Look ahead. Maybe that curse is a blessing. It PROBABLY is. Thank you, Michael!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Thanks for your willingness to share your story and personal examples that, I am sure, were not easy, but have a lot of rich lessons in them.

  • http://www.danicafavorite.com/ Danica

    Thanks so much for this… I definitely needed this post today. I’ve had a month of blahs, questioning a lot of this, and everytime I pray and ask for answers, I read posts like yours. God’s answer is pretty clear… put one foot in front of the other and keep on going. 

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Yes! Keep going!

  • http://www.liveyourwhy.net/ Terry Hadaway

    We spend our 20s thinking we can do anything, our 30s thinking we’ll never have time for anything, our 40s redefining what “anything” is. By 50, we’re ready to get started living our whys!

  • Lyndellhh

    I think our purpose in life transforms throughout life just as our bodies and minds do–mainly due to sin.  I think of Moses—who fulfilled many different purposes throughout his life. From just BEING in a desert for 40 years( due to his sin) to BECOMIMG a great leader of the Exodus then later having to BEAR disappointing consequences due to his lack of self-control—-which one might argue his sin interrupted  God’s original purpose.  There have been different spaces in my life where all  I could do is just BE. Then there was a BECOMING after that–which looked different than I originally planned. Then due to a moral failure, I was taken back to the wilderness of BEING for a long time. Out of that I had to BEAR some consequences, but what has BECOME out of that is a book (Confessions of Adulterous Christian Woman, Beacon Hill )and a ministry to Christians who have fallen into adultery. When I was born…was this my purpose?  I don’t think so. My sin charted a different course, but it did not have the last say, thank God.  For God can redeem good( a new purpose) out  of ruin–so Romans 8:28 is my life for even though the original plan was marrred, God still has brought a new purpose for my life which has served to glorify and honor Him—which ultimately is the overarching purpose of our lives. So  when you are old and bedridden can you still pray, praise and glorify God? And know that that is the highest purpose of your life? My 8o year old Father and 78 year old mother–who sustained  injuries which have stopped them both in their once very active tracks–are counting on it.

  • Jrbdanish58

    Wow Michael your timing is amazing. I just today made an appointment to talk to a christian counselor that I respect about this very subject.  Everything in my life is suggestion that I really have nothing left to contribute, and to make it worse, I feel like I might have totally missed my purpose by doing and being what others NEEDED me to be down through my years.
    This post has given me hope to press into this conversation and be open to hear from the Lord through this person.  Interesting that a big part of what I have done over the years is to be the counselor… and now it is time for me to be on the other side of the wisdom stream.
    Thanks for the post. Thanks for the video. Thanks for sharing your community.

    • Rachel Lance

      Thank you for sharing – so glad for the timeliness of this post in your journey. All the best as you press on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1515630255 Susan Tolles

    Michael, this is such a powerful message! My purpose is helping midlife women who are searching for meaning in their lives find their own purpose. Too many of them have lost the joy and direction that they once had, and I encourage them to dream big, step out on faith, and grow into the magnificent women they were created to be. What you have shared here is a powerful reminder that we all have incredible value and purpose, no matter how old we are. Our rich wisdom can make a profound impact on younger generations, so we need continually present in the world as we leave our legacies behind to many. God has given each of us such unique gifts, and it honors Him to use them fully until we are “finished” here on earth. Thank you so much for sharing this story.

  • Nancy Slocum

     Thank you, Michael for sharing such a beautiful and poignant story.  Great message for all no matter what age.  Andy Andrews is a fabulous story teller.  I am going to share this with my 91 year old Mom to let her know she is not done yet.  We both believe in the significance of leaving a legacy of love.  She always told us kids to, “Do everything with love.”  Your encouragement spoke to my heart as well.

    And by the way… I am loving your book Platform and am putting all your wonderful tips and experience to practice little by little to help me along the way.  I have a mission and a message God put in my heart to get out there so I trust He will bless the work of my hands.

    I thank God for wise thought leaders like you! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pat-Weaver/1593319892 Pat Weaver

    What a beautiful message – I will print it out and also send the link to many of my friends.  The words themselves provided such healing for many of us.  A beautiful way to open my heart to this beautiful day.  Thank you, Pat Weaver 

  • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

    Best. Post. Ever.

  • Mralandixon

    As a recent person who has lost his job and is getting his doctoral degree in organizational leadership, many of the points you mentioned here apply. I am not dead yet and I have work to do. thank you for this, needless to say this like God’s timing is perfect!  

    -W. Alan Dixon, Sr.

    • Chad

      So, therefore, can it be said that those that have died had no purpose any longer?  The logical extension just doesn’t seem to make sense… unless it’s all determined from the very beginning.

      • Chad

        Sorry, the above was supposed to be in reply to the blog post and not Mr. Dixon.

  • Chad

    So, Based on 1 and 2, can it be said that those that have died had no purpose any longer? The logical extension just doesn’t seem to make sense…

    • Michaelhyatt Com

      Hi Chad,

      This it the type of dilemma one ends up with when one tries to calculate God’s hidden ways. His majesty and eternal wisdom are just way too great to comprehend for our our crippled human mind. We once thought we could, in a place called the garden of Eden, and look what that magnificent idea brought mankind…
      There is a lot to learn from the book of Job.
      “You asked why I talk so much
      when I know so little.
      I have talked about things
      that are far beyond
      my understanding.”Job 42:3 (CEV)

      It’s actually a nasty human treat to measure and compare everything within the confines of the very limited understanding of life we have left. “To have no purpose” is a very emotionally overloaded phrase. It implies both a kind of understanding of the meaning of life that no human has and a kind of judgement that is not ours to excercise. Leave that to God.

      I quote Ecclesiastes 3:11
      “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” (KJV)
      “God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future.” (CEV)

      • Chad

        OK, 10-4, we can’t fully comprehend God or all His ways but that wasn’t at all what I was talking about.  I was just asking a question based on what YOU posited in your points 1 and 2. So, my question is still unanswered, unless it was a ‘non-answer’.  I’m just kindof surprised that if it was an ‘arguement’ that there’d be more to it than that… It seems really a simple thought, kind-of polyannaish?  I’m surprised that so many seem impressed by its ‘powerful’ argument.  Do you believe it’s all already determined and that’s why there’s still purpose?

        • RickVeenstra

           Dear Chad,

          It looks like you mistook me for the writer of this article. I’m definitely not Micheal Hyatt.
          Reading back I see that I was not completely clear about it, but you’re right, my answer was actually a ‘non-answer’. Yes, if you apply strict logic your reasoning is correct. But it is ‘powerful’ in the way that this kind of reasoning leads us nowhere.
          What I tried to say is that human knowledge or logic can never be the definitive answer to the fundamental questions of life. For that is the ultimate fallacy that lies behind man’s fall into sin. The answers are only to be found in what God has revealed about Himself in the Holy Bible.

          Yes, I wholeheartedly believe in what Michael mentioned in 1 and 2. But that my life has a purpose doesn’t mean that I or anyone else will fully understand or even ‘know’ what that purpose may be. Far from that; I pray to be so blessed as to understand a fraction of it someday. But it’s God’s purpose, founded in His greatness, glory and eternal wisdom. Who are we to claim that we should –or even could– understand his ways? That’s why I quoted Job 42:3, without any thought of being ‘theologically’ complete.

          I lost you in the middle of your reply, but that might be because I’m not used to discuss faith-related subjects in English; it’s not exactly my primary language.
          To answer your last question: YES. I believe everything in history and therefore in my life is ‘pre-determined’. But that has only meaning from God’s perspective, in the context of Him revealing Himself that way. God is not subjected to time as we are, since even time is His creation (Psalms 90,4; 2 Peter 3,8). That limits me as a human being that much in my comprehension that the concept of ‘pre-determination’ has no other use for me than as a source of unlimited trust in my heavenly Father.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    This is a great post Michael and a great way to look at things. Our attitude towards things is so important!

  • Jan

    I asked my husband a couple weeks ago – Will it ever get better? His answer helped me so much when he said, “It will because there is grace.”

  • Jim Williams

    Awesome post Michael! This reminds me of what I heard Greg Groeschel (twitter.com/greggroeschel)
    say in a podcast once., “If you’re not dead, you’re not done.” Thanks for the thought provoking words.

  • http://candelierious.blogspot.com Lis

    My husband says this all time!  “If we’re still here, there’s still something God wants us to accomplish!”  Excellent post and great reminder!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Julie-Swihart/100003908965783 Julie Swihart

    But can’t we be fulfilling our purpose in pieces? If I’m not dead yet, it doesn’t necessarily mean I haven’t fulfilled the most important part of my purpose, but it does mean I haven’t finished fulfilling all the pieces of my purpose, right? The assumption is that we were put on earth to do one specific task, but it seems that we actually have multiple tasks of varying importance to fulfill.

    Either way, the point is that as long as we’re still here, we have an important job. Thanks for the great post and encouragement!

  • Tim

    This reminds me of Illusions, The Adventures Of A Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach.  Whatever the source, it is worth pondering and treasuring.  Thank you.

  • Miranda

    I must admit, it’s not a new thought, but the question did throw me! Until I read it, I didn’t see it coming. And believing I have something valuable to offer does make something possible- hope. In fact, I’m writing the sixth draft of my book!

  • Dovie Carper

    Thank you.  As a 76 yr. old and slightly disabled, I seemed to be useless in so many ways.  Thank you for this encouragement.  I praise God that He will enable me to do what He has purposed for me and I am not through until He has accomplished whatever purpose He has for my life. 

    • Rachel Lance

      Dovie, I’m so glad you read this post. Be encouraged, friend. Thank you for being a part of the community.

    • Jim Martin

      Dovie, so glad you commented and that you read this blog.  Grateful that you chose to be the voice for many other people who feel much the same.

  • Sheila Fishback

    Amazing how messages seem to come across when you need them the most.  Very nicely said…and a great reminder to what lies ahead.

  • Greg Prete

    Hello Mr. Hyatt,

    I’m still processing this content in my mind.  There is a non-believing gentleman in Portland, Oregon, named Dustin Hughes.  He’s in his mid-thirties, recently divorced, father of three young sons… and unlikely to see Christmas this year due to aggressive brain cancer.  http://www.dustin360.com/   So, I’m trying to figure out how to relay your message to him with an “artful style” as the guys at http://www.str.org suggest. 

    He and I are both loan officers; different companies/states.  I have five letters from industry professionals, all believers, basically sharing their testimonies; some basic, others more granular supported verse by verse, all man-to-man authentic.  With it I’m including Dr. Gregory Boyd’s book on CD, Letters From A Skeptic.  My prayer, of course, is that Dustin will make the savior his savior. 

    Time is short.  Would love your feedback with all the extra time you must have after running Thompson, creating content, being with family, etc.   ( ha ha )

    Thank you,

    Greg Prete
    gprete@cfgbank:disqus .net

    • Gprete

      forgive me.  forgot this post is shown publicly.  please delete my contact info.  not intended to look like a solicitation.   please pray for Dustin and his three sons.  Thx

  • http://community.acstechnologies.com/ Eleanor Pierce

    Hi Michael – not to take away from the quality of this great post – but you’ve misspelled Greg’s last name. It’s Surratt (I typed it out it a lot recently as he just keynoted  our annual conference!).

  • Natashabrown

    WOW! how true are these words. My name is Natasha this is actually my first time posting here. I’m now 30 years old but the funny thing is, when i was younger i felt my life was a living mess not because of anything i was doing that was wrong, but because of the trials i was going through. looking back i felt that way why? lack of understanding and wisdom as to what God was doing in my life. Now that have gone through I’m  more mature and equip. At this stage in my life I know that my best days are ahead and not only that I am ready and align for greatness.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      That’s awesome, Natasha!  Thanks for sharing it!

    • Jim Martin

      Welcome Natasha!  I hope you will comment again.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I remember that point in The Noticer, a book I enjoyed very much (as I have Andy Andrews’ other books–just finished Return to Sawyerton Springs last week).

    Although the thought isn’t new to me, it’s a healthy reminder that life always has an element of adventure in it, no matter your age.

  • Rev. Gordon Moen

    This is a very rare exception to the advice and information you provide in your column.  I would like to suggest caution to who you use this reasoning with.  It was a good response to the man wondering if he had any thing to contribute.  The wisdom of life is invaluable. 

    But what came to my mind was a woman in her forties, with three children, a great marraige who died from cancer.  One could use the above logic and come to the conclusion that her children, her husband, and elementary children she taught were not her purpose in life.  She wasn’t done with them.  What was the purpose she did complete if she is not alive.  The above words are not always comforting as a general explanation of life.

  • Lynn Shoemate

    This is not a new thought for me and I believe every thing you’ve said. But I would be interested in your thoughts on people with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. My father will soon be 88 and has suffered with Dementia for about six years now. He cannot live alone or carry on a conversation. Someone has to take care of him or he would not eat, take his medicines, or bath. My brother has given up his freedom to live with my father and care for him. I believe God has done much in my brother’s life and heart through this act of selfless serving. I believe God had a purpose for my brother in keeping my father here the past several years. However, I now find myself wondering how long my father has to live like this and suffer to fulfill the purpose God has for him. It doesn’t seem “fair” (I do know life isn’t fair) for him to have to live like this. And I do wonder why he isn’t dead yet, and feel guilty for that. I love him, but he really is no longer my daddy.

    • Rachel Lance

      Oh Lynn, my heart aches for you. Thank you for sharing your story and allowing the community to join your pain if only for a moment. I wish I could answer your questions and bring peace to your heart but there is only One who is able to bring that. Praying rest for you and your family.

      • Lynn Shoemate

        Thank you Rachel. If I forget about the why and focus on making my father’s last days comfortable I have peace. And there is peace knowing where he’s going when he does leave this world.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      That’s such a difficult situation, Lynn.  I’m so sorry that your family is going through this.  The caveat that we have to remember is that life on earth is NOT the way it was supposed to be.  Earth was supposed to be like heaven.  But we live in a fallen world that does not work the way it was supposed to.  It’s an unjust world where we lose loved ones like your Dad in a very cruel manner, even before they die.  

      Don’t feel guilty about wishing that your Dad didn’t have to suffer.  That is the way it was supposed to be.  And, thankfully, it will be again in heaven.  Meanwhile, know that you are not alone.  

      Thanks for sharing this.

      • Lynn Shoemate

        Thank you for your kind words John. I do realize this is not the way life was suppose to be. I’m just one of those who always wants to know why. I’m working on giving that up. :)

        I’m thankful for the assurance that when my father leaves this world he will be in the presence of Jesus and life will be perfect for him then. And these years of suffering will be nothing compared to that!

  • http://www.authorpeterdehaan.com/ Peter DeHaan

    Thanks for an encouraging post and great video!

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    For me this thought makes it possible to live without fear of the unknown and uncontrollable. It takes the pressure off the ‘what if’ and focuses all that energy on living well, right here, right now. It is such a relief that God knows the number of our days and wants to help us live each one to the fullest!

    By the way, I love The Noticer. Great book. I posted a review a few years ago, right after reading (http://michelecushatt.com/the-noticer-by-andy-andrews/). Life changing.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Great thoughts, Michele!  My son, Eli, reminded me yesterday “Dad, you’ve just gotta live in the moment!”

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        No one can convict me better than my own kids!

    • Jim Martin

      Michele, these are great thoughts!  As you say, it makes it possible to live without fear of the unknown and uncontrollable.  Far better to use that energy on the moment.  Thank you for this very important reminder.  This is a great reminder for me today.

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        Thanks, Jim!

  • TLH

    Wonderful word for today!  I am walking through a major storm but I’m looking ahead to see how God will change this into a victory!!!  God is so good and yes!  There is more for us to accomplish.  We’re still here.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Remembering that God is good will give you the perspective that provides strength to get through any storm that life throws at you.  “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.”!

  • Ctcollinsjr

    Reminds me of the Most Magnificent Marigold Hotel…..It will all be alright in the end, so if it is not right, it must not be the end.


    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      That’s right!

  • Anne K Albert

    Great post. My stepfather will be 100 in November. He still mows his lawn and is as agile and spot on as 60-year old. His uncanny view and wisdom of the world is inspiring. We all have so much more to contribute…we just have to believe. :)

  • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

    Wow! Great stuff, Michael!

  • http://intentionaltoday.com/ Ngina Otiende

    Love this Michael.

    It’s not a new thought to at all. It’s one of the thoughts that am covering in my ebook (which am currently working on). Many of us give up when we encounter hardships. But the fact that one is still alive means God still has a plan, that our purpose is intact, still there to be pursued.

  • http://www.seeincolors.com/ Lisa Nelson

    The title really drew me in to this post.   We all need a little shaking up sometimes to remind us that we have a purpose.  There is something that only ______ (fill in the blank with your name) can do and the world is waiting for you to do it.

    It made me think of a quote, but I don’t recall who said it…something like this.  The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out your purpose. 

  • Dan Erickson

    I believe in purpose and intention. http://www.danerickson.net  I think we may have many purposes to fill in life, not just one.  I believe God leads us to our purpose and chooses when it’s done.  

  • Kapil Sopory

    My father’s sister is a sage. Once my nephew, Raman, addressed her on phone saying,” I am unwell. Severe headache, bad cold, cough and uneasiness. Feeling very upset….” Her immediate response was,” That’s fine! so, you’re very much alive as such things don’t happen to a corpse!” Raman was taken aback but soon reconciled and thanked the Almighty for the miracle of being alive that we experience on awakening from  sleep every day.
    We cannot conclude at any stage of life that our journey is over. It is to go on till He places a fullstop; in fact, it is not an end even then as there is life after death as the Soul does not die.
    So, why hover around negative thoughts? Let’s live life full size till our last breath!

  • http://www.joleneengle.org/ Jolene @ The Alabaster Jar

    Wonderful and inspiring post, after all, God put us here on earth to glorify Him.

  • Cynthia vogel

    This is something I’ve thought quite a lot about.  I’m not old, but I’ve been very sick and live with constant pain, rarely leaving my house.  But God has assured me that no only do I have work left to do; He has more work to do in me before calling me home.  I keep a blog which has ministered to people over the years and it may be that this is the area in which He wants more of me, I don’t know…all I know is that when He is ready for me; I’ll be waiting for Him!

  • Mary Allen

    Standing applause! Foot-stomping! Whistling! Tell it like it is, Brother Hyatt! Amen!

  • Scarlet

    This post really put many things in perspective fore me. At 32, I’ve finally discovered what I want to do as a career, how I want to live, and what helps me to keep pushing. Yet, I’ve felt so behind, like I’m playing catch up because many of my peers have been established in their careers for a while now. But now I realize that as long as I still have my health, I still have work to do. I’m not living on society’s timetable.

  • Carty

    I think all of life, especially the seemingly small actions we perform every day, is the most important part of our life. It seems dangerous to me to try and point at one specific thing as the “most important” part of a person’s life. It’s like searching for that a “holy grail” that will make your life worthwhile, when really if you focus on seeing God, knowing God on a daily basis, that is the most important thing a person could possibly do. If you’re still alive today, yes, God is still working in you to will and act according to his good purpose. But I think seeing all of your life as a beautiful tapestry He is weaving together is more accurate than saying that “If you are still alive, then you haven’t completed what you were put on earth to do.”

  • http://Joanneellison.com/ Joanne Ellison

    This post blessed me. I have been a ministry leader, teacher and author for 25 years and was beginning to wonder if I still had it in me. I had become discouraged because I believed that the call to publish my study guides and other resources forging ahead with a national call was pointless. The point that if I am still alive then my purpose hasn’t been fulfilled helped so much. By the way, I live just down the street from Seacoast church which I noticed was using this as a basis for their sermons. Thanks for posting such encouragement. 
    joanne ellison

  • Trillion Small

    Awesome! Thank you for the confirmation. I came to a point in my life where I felt that my prayers were going unanswered and that my promises were far from reach. However, one day while resting in God’s presence He brought my attention to my heart beat and He asked, “Do you feel that?” I said yes and He responded, “As long as you feel your heart beat that should be a reminder to you that I am still working things out in your life!”

    Thank you so much for this post! It just reminded me that God is still busy behind the scenes even when I may not see Him. It’s not over yet because my promises have yet to come to pass! :-)

  • http://www.bradstanton.com/ Brad Stanton

    This blog really means a lot to me, especially because my wife left me and I used to be in full time Christian work. God still has a plan for me to spread his love or I wouldn’t be here. I love your book-Platform, it is helping me find ways to get the word out more in my blog and youtube videos. The optimistic idea of more laughter and success ahead is great, too.

  • Wrightonsandy

    These past few years I have found myself in a beautiful place… loving my husbands parents as they maneuver through the amazing golden years.  From time to time I have had to address these very same points. YOU said it beautifully and I can’t wait to share it. Thanks!!!

  • http://www.davidfmckee.com David McKee

    I only need to say (write, I suppose) “thank you.”  I needed to read this at this very moment.  So timely.

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  • http://twitter.com/MyFathersHand David Peterson

    God’s desires that all should come to a saving knowledge of Christ. If the only thing we do in life is to accept Jesus as Lord and savior we have fulfilled one of God’s greatest desires. The man on the hung next to Jesus on the cross found this out.

  • Marlene Chism

    So empowering to remember the truth instead of getting distracted by the stories we tell ourselves.

  • Ira Webbe

    Honoring elders is wise. A truth about the concept of being still in purpose as long as you are alive is found in the word of God. In the word there is a truth that reveals God multiplying, constantly and excessively grace into our lives, which tells us that we all continually gain the power of God as long as we breath.

    An elder by virtue of this truth is a wellspring of grace(given they believe) and wisdom. This power extends to a directional groan or thought….so any elder, or any one else for that matter,  can still pray for other people’s path to be cleared based on their wisdom and it be done; showing their purpose still at work.

    This may not sound glamourous for our fascination with noteriety but that doesn’t make it less true. I hope for the days when many elders pray over me and I am able to pass that on.

  • http://thekevinedwards.com/ Kevin Edwards

    This was a fantastic post!  The younger generation doesn’t always see the value in the older because they see them as old fashioned or even irrelevant.  Unfortunately, I’ve seen the older generation begin to alienate themselves because of the stubborness of the younger.  The younger generation is the future of this country, but if they fail to see the value that is held by the older generation because of the sheer life experience then they are destined to make the same mistakes.

    I’m personally love to hear the wisdom of older people.  I probably could do a better job of seeking them out, but I always value what they say.

  • dee

    thankyou so much for this post, i was sitting here thinking you know what all my friends are joining college and moving on , ive done my college but losing my sight has forced me to give up what i loved. I now sing but its sometimes harder than you think. I was feeling overwelmed and helpless and no focus or vision when i read your article. I really dont know why im still here but ther must be some reason, ive just survived major surgery and even the doctor said do you believe in god cos this is a miracle x x x so thankyou for this post 

  • J. Fields

    Could you please share the link to the related video shown at Seacoast Church?  When I clicked on sermon series, it said the link site was no longer available.  Great post – inspiring!

  • Anonnomyous

    I no longer have a purpose. I suggest you log on to sites that describe the chronically sick. We have no hope of recovering and some of us have no hope of really living. Some of us don’t look sick. Search that and read.
     Maybe you can have a ministry for us. Noone else does.
    I am from a Christian background and was one for many years. Now I am athiest about half of the time.
    Although I have never been a liberal, books by Rob Bell have helped me understand that it might be possilbe for God to be a God of love.

  • Drake Hunter

    The only thing I can say is “AMEN!”

  • Daisy

    It makes me ask myself many questions. How will I know what it is? How do I know if I already know?

  • JoAnne

    Wow!  I have a book that I have been writing and it is almost finished; but, lately, I have been thinking that it’s probably not that interesting and who would really want to read or buy it.  It is about my experiences with cancer; I am a survivor.  But now I am thinking that maybe this is part of my contribution to society.  My story is an encouraging one when I tell it to people.  Thanks, like the gentlemen in your post; I better get busy.

  • atletismo veterano

    we have so much to learn from young in heart adults ,by the way i am happy i can speack about God and see thet people here have no problem bout it ,here in Spain its just  not politicaly correct and so difficult to speack about it 

  • Sharon

    Loved the post, although I did get hung up on the typo “new semon series” in the clip. Sorry about that, but I couldn’t help it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Sorry. I didn’t produce the video.

  • Ktingley

    David: As you know I’m no spring chicken at 83 and I still get called on to fill a pulpit
    once in a while and the thought process is much slower.  Too, we are raising two
    grandchildren, ages 11 and 8.  I don’t have the physical capacity or mental stamina I had years ago and I get grouchy and tired.  I wonder often if I should be doing this and if my contribtions are worthwhile. So your e-mail was a tonic.  While we may not
    know what purpose we are to fulfill or doubt if we are suceeding even if we do know,
    if we still have breath, we have a purpose.  Thanks for reminding me.
                                                            Ken Tingley            

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.garner3 Stephen Garner

    Great word.  I want to share this with several people.

  • http://www.4PointsCoaching.com Joel Boggess

    Hi Michael, 

    The wave of emotion is close to over-powering, when I see the spark of hope illuminate within a person, once they realize that God can STILL use them.

  • http://www.4PointsCoaching.com Joel Boggess

    Hi Michael,

    The wave of emotion is close to over-powering, when I see the spark of hope illuminate within a person, once they realize that God can STILL use them.

  • Im4lord

    Certainly the notion that I’m not done yet isn’t new, but the idea that I might achieve some some greater good for God gave me pause to reflect. Too often I feel spent with have nothing left to give and wonder why God doesn’t just take me home. I’m grateful for this reminder the Lord still has a purpose for me, and an important contribution for His glory. I’m not dead yet and i’d better stop saying, “oh darn” with that statement because isn’t that like saying God’s plan isn’t good enough? Bless you for helping me breathe again. anne 

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  • Hi

    If you kill yourself you’ll be dead. Then you would’ve served your important purpose anyways.

  • Guest

    Makes sense… so if I post this to the forum then commit suicide, my purpose in life was to make this statement.

  • Mart Ramirez

    I needed this more than ever, Michael. This brought a smile to my face as I googled something and your blog post popped up in the search. I read your blog regularly and enjoy your books. Thank you for this this. Words cannot express how much I needed this. God bless you.

  • http://www.RobertECook.com Robert E. Cook

    Thank you Michael. On Oct 17th I posted to my new blog. ‘When we just don’t remember’.
    My wife’s 95 year old mother is living with us. Her memory is fading quickly. The other day she asked me why she was still here. She is ready to die. I know she desperately misses her parents and siblings. Like you did with your dear friend, I took her soft frail hands. I tried to as best I could to be sensitive. I told her that God was not done yet. “If nothing else, he knows you are praying for your boys and they just may need the prayers for a while yet.” She smiled and said thank you. Then I told her, “He will come and get you when it’s time.”
    I think it helped a little, I just don’t know if she remembers.

  • Abby Hatch

    This post brought tears to my eyes, Michael. My mother has Alzheimer’s. It’s so bad now that she doesn’t even remember her own name.

    Yet, I know she still believes she has a purpose. We were watching Ken Davis’s video, Fully Alive, together several months ago, and there’s a point in the video where he’s talking to people in their 50s and 60s and says, “God’s not finished with you yet!” My mom responded, “That’s right!” :) (I wrote about this experience here – http://wp.me/p3F6je-4y)

    My mom is no longer herself. At this point, she doesn’t have wisdom or a beautiful personality to share. And I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone – her disease or what I and her loved ones are going through caring for her. Yet with all the media discussion of Brittany Maynard’s recent assisted suicide, I’ve been thinking about this more than ever. I’ve come to believe that… well, I guess I’d add to Andy Andrews’ list. If you’re still here, and you can’t take action to accomplish your purpose, 7) God is accomplishing his purpose through you.

    I hate it. I miss my mom. I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye when she was still herself. But I can’t deny that God is teaching me a ton of lessons though this experience.

    Thanks for the beautiful post.

  • http://pamelahaddix.com/ Pam Haddix

    Love this. I’m thinking of quite a few people who need to hear these words. Thanks so much for re-posting it!

  • Tim Miller

    Wow, did I need to read this today, and I am only 60….THANK YOU!!!

  • Michele Rohrbacker

    Very exciting and encouraging, we have a lot to look foward to !

  • KAM

    You don’t have to be Old to be encouraged by these words. Anyone of any age that questions their value and/or purpose here on earth can benefit from keeping these words in mind.

  • http://www.judiholler.com/ Judi

    This really really resonated with me. So simple. So profound. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing and thank you for what you do every day. Your work inspires me!