Several years ago, YBL Huntsville hosted two exciting events with Russell O’Quinn, an internationally known test pilot and aircraft designer. Russell is 74 years old, but you’d never know it! He still flies fighter jets at mach 2 and is able to with stand multiple G’s in both directions; he still performs classified tests for our armed forces. PBS recently completed a documentary about his life called Skyfox. Kevin Costner wants the exclusive rights to produce a feature length film about his life…and the list goes on and on. There is not doubt about it- Russ is an impressive guy, but the thing that impressed me the most about his life was not his many accomplishments.
The thing that thundered-out to me was Russell O’Quinn’s unrelenting passion to finish his life strong for Christ. Russ mentioned to me that most people expect him to compile a book about his diverse adventures and then settle down in the Bahamas where he would pursue a life of leisure…after all, isn’t that the American dream? It is for many– but not for Russ! I was deeply moved by Russ’s great desire for God to use him in the remaining years of his life; he said to me, “I’ve been re-thinking this thing called retirement. God willing, I’ve got ten years left to serve the Lord. I want to be faithful to use what He has entrusted to me…to serve Him and others…for His Glory.”
The Bible teaches us that our lives are like a vapor–here today, but gone tomorrow. It is too easy to become self-absorbed in our own lives, our own futures, and our own agendas. So let me state it this way: life is simply too short and eternity is too long to live it for ourselves. We need a renewed passion to live in a way that really matters…that carries an eternal perspective. May God, by His grace, enable us to live in such a way that we hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:23).