Joyce Meyer - Aging Without Getting Old - Part 4
So many ways that we waste our time. God wants us to walk in wisdom. And you know what I believe wisdom is? This is my own little definition. But I think that wisdom is to choose to do now what you'll be happy with later on. But a person who doesn't have self-control, they do what they feel like doing, or what they want to do, or what screams at them the loudest. And if the devil can keep you running, running, running, running, he can keep something screaming at you all the time. You know, in Hebrews 11, I find this interesting. It's talking about Moses and it said, "Because he preferred to endure the hardship of the people of God rather to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin".
So, he actually, walked away from this great palace life, every luxury that he could have possibly had, to go help his people that were hurting. He chose something uncomfortable because of what it was going to produce in his life, later on. And so, I'm asking you to think about what you're doing with your time, the choices of what you're putting your time into now, and what the fruit of it is. Something that has helped me so much, in the last few years, because, you know, you have a certain type of energy and ability to do certain things when you're in your twenties, in your thirties, and in your forties. And then you get far enough down there, and you start wanting to slow down a little bit, and you're not... You know, and so.
One of our daughters and her husband, they homeschooled their kids for a long time. They're twin girls. And it started getting to the point where it was getting a little bit over my daughter's head, and she was having to study a lot to teach them. And so, they wanted to put them in a certain Christian school because it had a really good reputation. But in order to do that, my daughter was gonna have to spend four hours a day on the road. An hour to take 'em there, an hour to go back home, an hour to go back and get 'em, an hour to come back. That's if the traffic was good. Then they got into sports and so it was an hour to take 'em to games. It wasn't even worth it to go home, 'cause it was gonna take so long to go back and get 'em. And so, they were just spending so much time on all this.
And so, my son-in-law just finally said, "I really think we should take them out of that school because it's taking too much out of us". And so, they looked at fruit versus effort. Well, the fruit was the girls loved the school. Well, yeah, but they're not doing the driving. And so, bottom-line is, is they made a made a change, and they're gonna do something else now, and everybody's happy about it, and it's gonna give everybody more time. And I just think if you start looking at some of the things you're doing, what you're putting your time into, and ask yourself, "Now, what am I really getting out of this"? And so, I have to save my energy, I have to put 80% of my energy into my top strength and not spend all this time doing all this other stuff, and then be not good for what I'm supposed to do. Is anybody understanding what I'm saying?
Joyce: Well, I'm what is commonly called a "Type-A personality". So, it took me a while to learn the lessons that I was talking about in the teaching. I'm sure a lot of you are like me, you may be a pastor, an entrepreneur, a parent, or some other type of leader. You're running too hard and too fast. But there are changes that you can make today to take back your life. I think we can learn a lot from the experiences of other people, so I wrote a book about what I went through and the changes I made that are helping me go the distance, and it's called "How To Age Without Getting Old". Well, I wanna share with you today some of the wisdom in this book because I think it could completely change your life and spare you a lot of pain, both physically and spiritually. Ginger is here to talk about it with me, Ginger.
Ginger: So, I'm one of these people that need this desperately.
Joyce: Oh good, good.
Ginger: Definitely one of these people that can benefit by doing now what I know is right, but I don't always think I have the time to do, you know what I mean? Because we're running so fast and we have all these other things that are very important and pulling at us. So, I appreciate definitely learning from some of the things that you've talked about in this book, "How To Age Without Getting Old". I don't want to run out of energy at the end of what I need to do, and I definitely don't want to have an old mindset or even physically be old.
Joyce: Everybody ages, you can't do anything about that. But I think it's our inner life that's our real life. And so, I'll be 78 on my next birthday, but I don't think I'm 78. So, sometimes that gets me in trouble because I don't, because my body is 78, and I do a lot of things to try to stay in good shape: I workout, I exercise, you know, whatever ways that I can. But even exercise, some of the things that I used to be able to do, I can't do anymore. And so, as you age you absolutely must realize that there are changes that you have to make, but...
Ginger: And nobody likes that.
Joyce: But the old part comes from the way you feel inside. You know, so you can age without getting the mindset, "I'm old and I can't do that anymore," and, you know, "My life is over," and I mean, that's just absolutely not true.
Ginger: Yeah. Well, my copy, I've got a lot of little dog-eared pages in here. And I think for many of the people who are watching who are leaders, they're owning their own business, they are raising children that are keeping them really busy, those types of people who have a hard time doing what we need to do to take care of ourselves. So, I wanted to ask you about a few of the things that you have in the book. One of the things you said is that, "I lived in a constant state of low-level fear and worry". With all that you had experienced in your own life with abuse, and then also, just moving forward, a lot of pressure on you. How did you deal with that sense of stress?
Joyce: Well, I think the problem was I wasn't dealing with it.
Ginger: Exactly, right?
Joyce: A doctor told me one time, and he was a good friend of mine, he said, "Your mind is stronger than your body". And many, we'll call 'em type-a personalities, I know there's all kinds of different tests out there today and they refer to these strong personalities in different ways, but they don't like to admit that they can't.
Ginger: No, you're so right.
Joyce: And they're strong mentally and if you're not careful, you can do things that just aren't wise. You know, you'll override the way you feel. And I did that over, and over, and over, and I made myself sick more than once. But the last time, I got so sick and it affected my voice which is where all my gifting flows from. And I finally came to the point where I realized I absolutely had to make some changes. Now, you know, I know that most people that are 20, 30, 40, even 50 are gonna think they don't need this book. My own daughter is in her early fifties, and I said something to her the other day about, 'cause I just re-read the book recently and I thought you know: this really is a good book. It's interesting, I write the books but then sometimes if I read them as a reader, it affects me in a different way. And I told her, I said, "You really should read this book, it's really good" and she said, "Why would I needed I'm only 50"? But, see, that's the very attitude that I don't want people to have because if you wait until you need it, then you're probably already in trouble. And I'm trying to help people make the adjustments and the changes earlier in life, so they don't get to the point where they're falling apart or their nerves are shot or they're sick because they haven't taken care of themselves.
Ginger: Yeah, you have a couple of other statements and I'm just gonna buzz through these because I think some people will go, "I can check that one off, I can check that one off". One says, "I had deep-set insecurities, I thought my worth and value came from what I produced through hard work". Another one says, "I dealt with migraine headaches. I have a strong personality and lots of determination, so, although I didn't always feel good, I pressed on". I just, I know so many people who are saying, "Yes, that's me, yes, that's me". "No one is invincible," is something that you say in here. So, for all of us who are on that kind of treadmill, before we stumble and fall off the treadmill, what are some of the changes that you suggest people make?
Joyce: Well, first of all, and I know people don't like to hear this, but you need to workout, you need to get exercise. And today our lifestyles are so sedentary, we sit so much, at computers and on phones, that years ago, you never heard of people working out. I mean, like, when I was at home growing up with my parents, you never heard of anybody working out, you know? I think there was one guy on television that was starting to talk about it some. And, I mean, you didn't pay to go to a gym and workout because you worked hard enough in your daily life.
Ginger: You weren't binging on Netflix.
Joyce: Yeah, right, yeah, and you weren't sitting all day. I mean, my mom and dad worked hard enough physically that they didn't need to go do that. But today we do. And whether that's going to a gym or whether it's taking a good, long walk every day, we have all these joints and different things because God wants us to move, also, and I know people don't like to hear this either, you can't live on junk food and expect to be healthy. You know, you need to eat wholesome foods and that doesn't mean you can never have a dessert, you can never have anything you want, but everything needs to be in balance. And you need to rest. And I'll tell you just, like, one little change that I've made that has made all the difference. People like me have a tendency to go from thing to thing, to thing, to thing, to thing, to thing. So, I would get up in the morning, do this, do that... I workout on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I'd workout, then I'd go straight to get cleaned up for the day. And I've started taking what I call "Five-minute vacations". So, now, when I'm finished working out, for example, I'll go out into our hearth room and I'll sit in the recliner for just five to seven minutes. Just sit back, drink somethin'. If it's cold, I'll turn the fireplace on, put my feet up. And I told somebody the other day, they walked in and they said, "What are you doing"? I said, "I'm taking a five-minute vacation" and they said, "What in the world is that"? I said, "I'm giving myself five minutes between events". It just gives you a chance to let your body calm down and recuperate from what you just did, to get ready for the next thing that you're going to do. We absolutely must rest. And you need to rest every part of your being. Your mind needs to rest. And sometimes people like me, I mean, you can lay your body down, but your mind is still going, going, going, going, going, going, going. So, we need to find ways to rest mentally, emotionally, by not being upset about everything. Spiritually, we need to rest, we need to rest physically, we need to get good sleep. So, it's true, sometimes you think well, "When I have this and when I do that and when I reach this and when I do that," but human flesh is never satisfied. No matter how big you get, no matter how much you have, no matter what you do: you're always going to want more if you don't learn "More" is not always the most important thing.
Ginger: It's true, you want your business to be bigger, you want your church to be bigger, or whatever it is, keep working.
Joyce: I've started learning, still learning, how to work smarter, not harder and I can actually say that I'm reaching more people now than I ever have and I'm working less than I ever have. The thing that I find interesting about God is, if you just keep it up, he'll stand back and let you do it. But if you come to the point where you say, "I can't do that anymore," you'll find that there are people that God has put around you, that can do some of those things if you'll just let them. And part of our problem becomes, we don't want anybody else to get any of the credit, we don't want anybody else to get any of the glory, we don't want anybody else to be out front. And you have to realize that nobody can always do what they've always done.
Ginger: Things change.
Joyce: That was a statement that I heard that and it just turned me upside down. I thought, "That's true, I can't do this forever". You know, there was a time when I did 36 full-blown conferences a year, took every speaking engagement I could get, made almost every decision that was made at the office, except for the part the dave did, which was important, you know, but I dealt with all the employees, I did the hiring, I did the firing, I did the correcting, I mean, I did nothing but work for years, and years, and years. And I was proud of it because I got my worth and value out of work.
Ginger: That's so good. That's so good for people to hear. Can we talk a little bit about control, too?
Joyce: Well, sure.
Ginger: 'cause that's a big part of what you're talking about. "Yeah, I need to let some other people help me so that I don't have to do all this myself and yet I wanna control it, I wanna make sure it's the way it should be". How do you fix that?
Joyce: Well, first of all, and I've learned it here, you know, I mean, I let you do a lot of things, my sons do a lot of things, we've got wonderful people here who do a lot of things. And interestingly enough, some of the things that I was so afraid to let go of, or even people on my staff were afraid for me to let go of, you know, it wasn't just me. And I'm sure you remember this, people would say, "Well, this is always better if you do it. Well, this is gonna be better if you do it, and, well, this gonna be better if you do it". And, so, I even felt the pressure of that from other people, that they wouldn't let me quit, even if I wanted to quit. So, when I got so sick three years ago, we all had to get that revelation that we had to face the fact that I wasn't 20 anymore, or 30, or 40, or 50, or 60, and that I could not keep doing it all. But the thing you have to realize if you're going to delegate, is you cannot give responsibility and not give authority. And what I said, right there, is so important. I know somebody right now that they would love to get rid of a lot of their workload, but they still keep trying to tell the person that they're trying to give it to, how to do every single thing they do. And you're not me, you're a little different than I am, so, you may not do everything the way that I would do it, some of it may be better, some of it might not be as better. But a lot of the things that we think are so important, other people don't even notice. And so, I don't like every book cover, or every magazine. Well, I do like the book covers 'cause we agree on 'em before they go out. But I'm just trying to make the point that I don't like every single thing that I see on our web page. I don't like every single thing that I see, you know, sometimes they'll change my titles to something else and I'm like, "I don't like that, that's my title, leave it alone," but it's not worth it to me anymore. You gotta pick your battles by the time you get to this age and if you make a battle of everything then people just think you're a crank and a complainer and they don't listen to anything that you say. If I come to any of you guys and say, "Look, this is not what I want to do". You're wise, you change it. But, wouldn't you say, by and large, I leave you alone and let you do what you think you should do?
Ginger: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely, and I've seen so many things that you've taught me on how to really do that well, so that, you know, if there is something you'd like differently you'll share, "Next time, let's do this differently," and we can make those adjustments. So, we're all learning along the way to do it together. But you said something important, you said at this age, you can't do all those things anymore. And what you're describing and what you're talking about in the aging process is not to wait until you're at that age where you have to make the decisions. You got to a point where your body just said, "I'm done. I'm gonna take a break, whether you let me or not". And the reason you wrote this book is to help other people not to necessarily get to that point, to make the changes now, to let go of some things, to rest, to learn how to deal with stress so that they can continue with strength and not have to deal with some of the physical pain and different things that you've done with that.
Joyce: I really think, Ginger, the thing that concerns me the most about the release of this book is that the people who need it the most are gonna be the ones who think they don't need a book like that now. I hope and pray that people that are younger will get the book and get the information in them so they're there for the long haul. See, it's very, very important to me that I finish the call on my life and the way I was going at it, I was not going to. And when I got so sick three years ago, and a lot of people may not even know that I got that sick, but I mean I just I got up one morning and my mouth was absolutely on fire and I had something called "Burning mouth disorder". A lot of doctors hadn't even heard of it and they said it was either caused by hormone imbalances or by stress. And the interesting thing about stress is, people like me never wanna admit they have it. You know, it's like, I mean, if I would go to the doctor and they told me it was stress, they made me mad. They just stressed me out more by telling me that it was stress. Because I thought stress meant that you couldn't handle life. And my mother had a nervous breakdown and so that was particularly touchy subject for me. It was like, I don't wanna talk about nerves, I don't wanna talk about stress, don't try to tell me, "I can handle whatever I need to handle because I'm strong". And it's such a foolish attitude, when you really think about it. Well, I mean, I talk for a career, that's what I do. And my mouth was hurting so bad and my throat was getting so dry that, for the first time that I can remember, I had to cancel a speaking engagement. So, it was obvious that I could not keep doing things the way that I was doing them. And so, long story short, I had every kind of test, check up, this... And they told me...
Ginger: And other things happening in your body as well.
Joyce: Oh, yeah. I mean, I was just shaky, I was nervous, I mean, literally, shaking. I was so tired that when I'd get out of bed in the morning, it was all I could do to get from the bed to the chair. And I was like... It really scared me, you know, it's like, "What's happening to me"? I mean, I'd do a conference and I'd have to go somewhere to lay down between the sessions. And you know, well, you where you were there, you saw, and that just wasn't me. Well, I started letting other people do some things at the conferences, you know, instead of me doing everything, you started helping with some things and pastor Mike started helping with some things and I did the part that only I could do which was the teaching, but I really wasn't doing a lot else other than that. And a friend of mine, a Christian man, who's a doctor checked me into a hospital in Houston, and they did all kinds of tests and they said basically your blood work is amazingly good for somebody your age. Now, do you know how mad it makes you when you feel as bad as I did, and they tell you how healthy you are?
Ginger: Yeah, it's not what you wanna hear.
Joyce: It's like, "Well, what is wrong with me then?"! And they just said, "You have adrenal fatigue. You've completely worn yourself out". So, alright, "Well, what am I supposed to do"? And the doctor looked at me and he said, "You're gonna rest for 18 months". And this was what I said, "What does one do while they rest for 18 months"? Well, it was obvious I had a problem, the first thing I wanted to know, I was in the shape I was in because of "Doing" all the time. And the first thing I wanted to know is, "Well, what am I going to 'do' while I'm resting that long"? Well, and it took a little over 18 months for me to get back to feeling normal. But I'll tell you what, you put the fear of God in me and if I start getting like I had, I was supposed to be taking my son to lunch on Monday, but last week I was really busy and I just called him over the weekend and I said, "I'm gonna need to cancel on Monday because I'm tired and I really just", I mean, I won't just go everyday now, go, go, go. I have to have days to rest in-between. And I would just as soon go. You know, my personality is I'd rather be in the thick of everything that's going on and know everything that's going on and be making the decisions and, you know, be in control of everything, but it's not God's will for me anymore. And if I'm gonna finish what he's called me to do, then I have to make these changes. And I think in our society in the western culture, we are so hyper-focused on what we're doing. I mean, everybody just wants to know, they don't wanna know, "How are you"? "What have you been doing"? You know? And you don't want to tell somebody, "Nothing". You know, but I've kinda gotten to the point where I kinda like that. "You know, I didn't do much of anything this week".
Ginger: "And I feel good about it".
Joyce: Yeah, "And I just rested". But I think even more so, you have to get to the point where you know who you are in Christ, to get to that point. I remember a man telling me, and this has been the last year, 86 years old and he said, and it was bragging, he said, "Well, I'm 86 and I'm busier now than I've ever been in my life". And you know, they're would have been a time when I would have thought, "Oh, that is so spiritual, that's amazing," and I thought, "That is just plain dumb". You know, because you can't do it. You can't do that. You're just asking for trouble if you do that. And so, I think this book is not just for people that are in their seventies or eighties, I think it's for people that are ceos, and entrepreneurs, and very busy moms, and people that own businesses. You know, you can get addicted to activity and addicted to just not being able to be still. I mean, I know people that just absolutely cannot be still and so...
Ginger: Yeah, well, that's why we're gonna offer this book to everyone today and make sure that we can get it in their hands.
Joyce: Okay, well, "How To Age Without Getting Old", it's the book that I've written, and guess what? We're gonna offer it to you today for your gift to the ministry of any amount. Just do the best you can, we've got lots going on here and a lot of people that need help. So, send in your best offering and let us send you this book and maybe you know, I don't know, maybe, you need to order ten copies, maybe, you know ten other people that don't know how to stop and rest. And so, just get yours and be sure that you get the help you need because God wants you here for a long time. So, I'm so glad that you joined us today and you have a peaceful and a blessed day.