By Steve Ivaska

So what is God showing you?”  Those were the words my Halftime Coach asked shortly into our scheduled call.  Two months earlier I had attended a Halftime Institute Launch Event, gotten clarity around a personal mission statement to guide me, and formulated a game plan for moving forward in my “journey from success to significance.”  Strategy and planning always seemed to come easy.  The seemingly intuitive thought process served me well in my business career.  Where are we today, where do we want to be, and how do we get from here to there?  So what could be different as I designed a life plan, or roadmap for the next year, around those same types of questions?

The difference would come at a heart level.  Reflecting and journaling one morning, I came across a passage of scripture that grabbed my attention.  “We continually remember before God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:3.

So what was my motivation in this journey I was on?  God seemed to be showing me this was to be a journey of faith.  I couldn’t see around every corner, I couldn’t predict in advance what the outcome would be.  And in reality, wasn’t life itself a journey of faith, in spite of my best planning?

The second part of the verse hit me right between the eyes.  A labor prompted by love.  I hadn’t ever viewed work in my business career as a labor prompted by love…a true love for others.  It was more the case that my intensity could easily result in me walking by someone and never really seeing them, as I was so preoccupied in thinking about what I had to get done next.  In my journaling, it seemed God was saying to me, “Steve, it doesn’t matter whether you stay in your current business context or join a ministry context to live out your mission statement, without your having love for others as your motivation, slowing down enough for them and to understand their needs, I can’t fully use you.”

God was changing my heartAnd then “endurance inspired by hope in Christ.”  I reflected on the endurance I had exhibited over the years.  Endurance to work long hours, to turn around things when they went upside down, to do whatever it took to get the job done.  And while some of that endurance was the result of just the enjoyment of using the talents God had blessed me with, truth be told, many times the endurance as I “climbed the ladder” was inspired by fear.  Fear of what would happen if we didn’t get the job done or meet plan.  Fear of how I’d look if we failed to make the numbers.  Fear of what the impact might be on my performance rating or incentive compensation.  Endurance inspired by hope rather than fear…how potentially freeing!

What I was experiencing, as I shared these insights with my Coach several years ago, was what we refer to as the Heart Journey of Halftime.  God was not just interested in what it was He would have me do as a result of my mission statement and planning at a head level.  He was even more interested in who it was He was having me become at a heart level.  God was changing my heart to move forward in faith, trusting Him for the outcomes.  Seeking to serve out of a motivation of love for Him and others.  And being inspired by my hope in Christ.

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Steve Ivaska
Steve Ivaska spent more than 35 years working with Caterpillar in sales and marketing, public relations, human resources and logistics leadership functions, including accountability for global distribution of Caterpillar parts.

Steve's Halftime journey began with a severe ankle fracture while running one icy winter morning, resulting in two questions God brought to his mind during the recovery process: “How much time do I have left and what am I to do with that time?” A financial planner recommended the book Halftime to Steve and he connected with a Halftime Certified Coach to begin to discover the vision of where God might be taking him in his Ephesians 2:10 calling.

After going through the Halftime Institute in 2010, Steve decided to retire from Caterpillar and focus on three key areas: deepening his faith and walk with Christ, investing more time in the life of his family, and pursuing his Halftime mission of “building leaders with Christ-centered priorities”. Within that mission, Steve is leveraging his Halftime experience by serving others as a certified Halftime Certified Coach to discover where God might be taking them on their Halftime journey.

Steve and his wife of 44 years, Pat, live in Peoria, Illinois and spend considerable time on a lake in southern Michigan with their four grown children and spouses, and their nine grandchildren. Steve is running again and also enjoys kayaking, sailing, camping and reading.

“While leaving the marketplace and concentrating initially on the “head journey” of the season Halftime and “what should I do”, God has really shown me how important the “heart journey” of “who is He having me become” is. It is exciting to see how important relationships are in life… with God, my family and those I might serve in my second half. First Thessalonians 1:2-3.”