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Game Plan
by Bob Buford

    As you approach your fourth decade, you begin to think a lot about who you are and where you are going. It is inevitable, and I believe, universal. Some people approach this period in life pathologically and call it a crisis. I regard it more positively and call it halftime—an interval in a person’s life where he or she explores ways to transform their success into significance.

You do have a choice — you can have a crisis or a halftime.
    You do have a choice—you can have a crisis or a halftime. Halftime gives you a chance to answer all those important questions you never had time for. It is a season of “in between” where you purposefully anticipate the second half. It's like a second chance, without the guilt and regret that usually comes in needing one. It is not escape, but engagement; not regret, but renaissance. If you were a machine, it would be called retrofitting—making some adjustments in the original piece of equipment so that it can perform new tasks. If you were a piece of software, it would be called upgrading—same basic package, but with revisions and new features that keep it on the cutting edge.

    There’s too much at stake in your second half to go into something ill-advised and untested by others. I’m as headstrong and independent as anyone, but I have learned not to fully trust my ideas until I’ve had a chance to hear from close friends and associates whom I trust. Whether they critique or affirm, or just encourage me in the direction I’m heading, their input is invaluable. These are people with whom I feel comfortable and who I can trust to be honest with me. They form a safe haven where I can think my confusion out loud, share my fears and concerns, unload my pain, and celebrate my successes. I have found this concept to be so valuable that I now have three or four teams to consult with in the different areas of my life before I start things.

Second Half     I realize that in our culture of youth it is somewhat revolutionary to suggest that the second half of your life can be better than the first. But it really can. I can think of at least seven reasons why: First, you are less likely to be diverted by things that don’t matter. Second, you are finally able to live out your own agenda rather than someone else's. Third, you will regain control of your life. Imagine what it will be like to say no…now you have identified your mainspring, you can give yourself in a focused way to that which supports your mission. That is immeasurably liberating. Fourth, you have more resources. Fifth, you have a clean slate—an opportunity for a new beginning. Sixth, you know how to play through pain…You’re tougher, mentally and spiritually. And Seventh, you have finally learned about grace.



HEARTLIGHT(sm) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
HEARTLIGHT and the flared heart design are service marks of Heartlight, Inc.
Copyright © 1997, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Excerpted from Game Plan by Bob Buford (Zondervan Publishing House, 1997). Available at bookstores or by calling 1-800-727-3480. Used by permission.
Design copyright © 1997, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
May be reprinted and reused for non-commercial purposes only if copyright credits are appropriately displayed.