Epochal Period: Season of Decline and Death.




SEASON OF DECLINE


In the declining years, you fade gradually. The fame, popularity, and honor you enjoyed at the peak of your manifestation seem to dwindle. This is not necessarily because your opposers have succeeded against you, neither did you mar your character, but that one phase must give way to another.

As in the case of Jesus our shining example here, when this season arrived he keyed into it. Here he performed fewer miracles, even when the people urged him to give a sign he declined. Rather, this became a time of concentrated and concerted teachings. He took time to reveal so many kingdom mysteries via his teachings. He poured himself more into the twelve. 

He withdrew with the twelve into secluded places. After his parables were taught to the public, he would decode their meanings to the disciples in private. Those were the days he showed the glory he had with the Father on the mount of transfiguration.

While he seemed to fade in one area, namely his public life and ministry, he shone more in preparing men who would continue from where he would stop. 

Fading does not mean fake and failure! The decline does not mean declension. The decline is not decay! The decline is no deterioration! We see all this clearly in the life of Jesus.


People fear this season of life for various reasons, sometimes unclear to them. Among several reasons that could lead to this is: 

Insecurity! 


When a person uses achievement to affirm himself and make it the basis for acceptance and fulfillment then he will be afraid of the moment of decline. 

Never use achievement to form the basis for your identity; neither should it be your driving force in life. If you base your living on achievement alone you may be headed for a rude shock when your declining years loom.

Competition: 


Those who see life as competition are afraid of the years of decline because someone will soon break their record. This makes them stress themselves even to a breaking point. Such people should realize that life is in stages. 

When one reaches the stage of decline, he needs someone to continue from where he stops. Life, therefore, is complementary. What makes life complete is that we complement each other. 

Unhealthy competition is stressful and it distracts you from focusing on your assignment. As a veteran, you measure your success by the standard of your time, and so do not be afraid to be exceeded by the succeeding generation. Stop trying to succeed against another person. You have your path in life to follow, just tow it, not minding what others are doing.

Not all competition is unhealthy though, but the human mind is so unreliable that it is capable of turning something good into bad. Do not make people your rivals in this journey of life.

Comparison: 


Until you understand your uniqueness, the comparison will not end. You are made by the creator in such a way that there is no second you anywhere. You are just unlike anyone else on earth. You are unusual specie, a class in itself. You are just exceptional in this world.

 

Unwillingness to Face Reality: 

Everything in life declines; it is just a question of time. When you climax, the next thing that happens naturally is to descend. Understanding this reality of life and facing it will position your mind and attitude rightly towards decline. 

Great empires decline gradually until they are extinct. Companies and businesses decline too. This could be one of the reasons for diversifying their investment into other areas.

Harness your declining years by turning this season to a period of raising the next generation of leaders, people you can put your trust in, who will run with the vision when you are no more. They become your vision sustainers and carries. The crowd does not run with the vision, individuals do. Find those individuals from among the crowd and focus your energies and strength on them. Turn your fading season into a potter's wheel; there you will fashion and mold vessels unto honor. Make your declining season rewarding and rich.

SEASON OF DEATH


The most difficult time in the life of Jesus arrived, the season of death. This was what he came for. This was probably the most defining time of his life. All he did was done waiting for this moment. It all began from the garden of Gethsemane where he prayed like never before. 

The issues at this garden of prayer are captured in Hebrews 5:7. It was the most trying moment as he struggled and wrestled in prayer for the submission of his will to the Father's for death. For the first time, he called for prayer support and reinforcement from his friends and confidantes. 

Though he knew this was a task he must take on alone, he was determined to go the gauntlet.

At this juncture, he would experience firsthand betrayal by his exchequer, a denial and forsaking by trusted friends, and abandonment by his Father. I am sure Judas who betrayed him never believed he would die. He probably felt, since he had done many miracles and had severally escaped from being mobbed and being forcefully crowned king, he would also escape from the hands of the Jews while he (Judas) would go about enjoying his money. 

But Judas was disappointed when they arrested Jesus and he did not escape. Why? It was his time to die and this was the ordained way for him to die.


Somehow here on earth, death is an appointment everyone must keep, therefore, there is a need to adequately prepare for it. It is a war we cannot avoid. A man who dies and does not know exactly where he goes to after this life is miserable. Worse still is
 the one who lives without a purpose and dies without knowing where he heads to. 

Let us prepare for death. Death has no respect for age, education, status, wealth, religion, and achievement. When it's the time comes it strikes without mercy leaving children orphaned and women widowed; making a full nest empty. 

It is still the most dreaded of all things that ever befell man after his fall in the Garden of Eden. But nobody needs to fear death for we have the assurance.

Death is a mystery as much as life is, but what we should all come to terms about death is that it is not an end in itself but a means to an end.

Life would be more meaningful, useful, and more adventurous when we know that we each have a limited time to spend on earth. John Kotter once said, "Most people don't lead their lives; they just accept it." What a tragedy that is. Living is great but living without having a life is horrible. How do you connect to life beyond living? The words of Jesus drive this home very well as he engaged his disciples in a series of discourse towards the end of his work. 

Are you ready for this season of life? Why are you not ready? You can be fully assured of what life will be in the hereafter. On earth the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. It's a truth we cannot run from. It shows the inevitability of death.

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