Burlap bag of yellow potatoes

How to Spend the Bonus Ten

Our lives add up to threescore and ten—seventy years to invest—plus yapa, with good health and strength (Psalm 90:10). The extra decade of life that some are blessed with beyond the average is like the few extra grams of produce they occasionally give you at the Chilean open-air markets. When weighing out potatoes, it’s hard to find a spud the exact size to make an even kilo. So if you’re lucky, you receive yapa. It’s the little extra. The bonus. An unexpected gift.

You can always use a few more potatoes. In fact, I own an entire cookbook dedicated to ways of baking, boiling, frying, mashing, stewing, and scalloping that most versatile of vegetables.

God has every day of our existence counted—every last common potato. We have, of course, no guarantee of the next minute, let alone of ten extra years. But cooking up a plan to invest in the final decade(s) of our lives requires careful thought and creative vision. Though retirement may be the world’s substitute for heaven…

Retirement is Not Heaven’s Waiting Room

In my mouth, the idea of rest and recreation from age 65 on tastes a little like instant potato flakes. Not that it doesn’t have its uses, not that it doesn’t look inviting sometimes. But relaxing on the home stretch seems like a bland replacement for a full and satisfying life. Even the last of life is life!

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.–Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard

Admittedly, some less-than-desirable clouds may lurk on the horizon. But every chapter of my life story has been richly planned and plotted for a purpose, including the epilogue. Every page is significant in His accounting.

Droplet Gift #8: I will make my days count and let God make them matter. For instance, here’s what I see on the menu for the bonus ten years of my life (Lord willing)…

Investment in Legacy

I may plan as if I’ll live forever, but I must live as if today might be my last. There’s not “always tomorrow” here on earth. So I’ll continue to exercise my body, my brain, and my gifts. I’ll keep writing, learning, and teaching. As God gives me grace, I’ll invest my time in a body of work which represents my contribution to His kingdom.

Investment in Family

I feel it’s paramount to spend what time and energy I have left on my children and my children’s children. Family matters, more than we can imagine. I foresee praying more and playing (a little) less. I want to make more memories than memoirs. My true legacy should be my loved ones, not my grand accomplishments.

Investment in Eternity

Someday soon I’ll be as old as I once thought my grandmother was. Someday I’ll follow her to heaven, and after that, my grandchildren will follow me. We all have only one life, and since people are the only thing we can take with us when we exit the stage, it sounds like a good idea to prepare for the future now. I plan to keep the end in mind—what will matter then?

Life is made of moments and hours, days and years. Every good day, with its blessings and delights, and every bad day, with its tears and troubles, count equally in the book of our lives that God is writing (Ps. 139:16). Let’s not waste even the small potatoes.

Lord, don’t take me home until…I’ve invested my life to the fullest and spent every minute faithfully. Whether I make fourscore or not, I leave the yapa to Your wisdom.

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