Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Amy Grant in concert at the beautiful, historic Fox Theater in downtown Visalia. My dear friend, who is a super-fan, scored second row seats months ago (and because the seats in front of us were amazingly empty, more like front row) and we had an absolute blast! The crowd was full of people who knew her music and I often heard people singing along (when I wasn’t singing myself!) It was also full of people who genuinely loved this artist who has been through some really tough times in the past year, including a bike accident last July that caused brain trauma from which she is still recovering (though there were few signs of that last night!)
So, maybe that’s why she was being particularly reflective…
There was a point in the evening when the lights came down, the band left the stage and it was just Amy and her guitar, the way that she started as a teenager, and the way that I remember her best. Only she is ever so much more than a teenager (as am I!) and every ounce of wisdom she has learned in the hard seasons of life was beautifully on display as she talked about this being the “4th quarter” of her life.
It’s a beautiful and impactful metaphor, don’t you think? She talked about how the first quarter (ages 0-20) was mostly directed by others, how the second quarter (21-40) was when she came into her own and used that agency to build her career and raise her family. The third quarter (41-60) for her, was a time of setting aside all the stuff she didn’t have time for any longer, reprioritizing and grounding herself in what was important. Amy not only spoke about entering the 4th quarter of her life, but was open about how she wants to be intentional in the way she spends it (and also hopes it’s a really long quarter!) And for her, that includes thinking toward the end of life (which will come for all of us) and knowing on that day, she wants to feel the assurance that she has finished well.
As a woman who has entered her own 4th quarter, this really moved, inspired and also challenged me….so I invite you to take a moment with me and let’s do some reflecting of our own.
Sometimes people point to a major life event, such as a near-death experience or a tragedy of some type as something that jump-started the realization that we really do only have so much time….it’s not indefinite. This has certainly been the case in my own life, and it brought clarity in that so much of what I thought was important was only temporary. And it also brought into laser-focus my deep desire to make the rest of my life count for all it possibly can through the ways I love and serve God and others.
It can be difficult to think about our endings! But wouldn’t it be amazing if instead of just kind of cringing when we think about it, we really, truly embrace the life we have left (however long that may be) and live with intention and purpose? I know that is my 4th quarter game!
Whether you’re in your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th quarter of life, (or in overtime!)I want to encourage you to embrace all of the amazing possibilities to spend it wisely and well. It’s a precious gift that we not only get to receive, but we get to share with others as well.
Those are my thoughts on Day 15, thanks to Amy. =)
Here’s to a beautiful life,