We each have the same amount of life left available to us–the rest.
The question is, what are we going to do with it? And do we even have a plan?
As we look forward, we don’t have to take on the burden to change the world. In fact, God doesn’t need us to do anything. He is quite capable of running things here on Earth without our help.
But there are likely some areas he would like us to work on, including:
- Placing him first, above all other things, in our life.
- Doing what we can to grow spiritually day to day.
- Being a good steward of the time we have been given.
And there are some things God does not want us doing, such as:
- Ignoring his guidance.
- Thinking only of ourselves.
- Worrying about the past.
It doesn’t do any good to obsess about what we didn’t do in the past. We can’t change it, and God doesn’t want us to waste time worrying about it. We have all had our own journey.
“Many who have reflected on their lives recall that they were the generation who wanted to change the world, but they often find themselves mired in pursuit of other things.” (Lloyd Reeb in From Success to Significance)
But, looking forward, we can decide that we will be good stewards of the time we have left.
Depending on our circumstances and approach to life, that could mean “keep doing what we are doing.” Or, maybe we just need to adjust a few aspects of how we go about life each day, for example by being more empathetic and kinder to others.
But for many people–most of us–we should develop a life plan.
Does God Want Us to Plan?
Practically, it makes sense that we should be intentional about something as important as how we live our lives, including planning for the future. But what does God think?
“Those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.” (Proverbs 14:22)
Being thoughtful about the future will help us prioritize what to do in the present.
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways.” (Proverbs 14:8)
But rather than building our plan–alone–we can seek to discern our place in God’s plan.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)
Then, as we move forward, we can adjust the plan along the way based on God’s direction.
“… I knew from experience that planning is the very thing that gives you the flexibility to follow God’s leading in a spontaneous way.” (Lloyd Reeb in From Success to Significance)
God wants us to be good stewards of our time, talents, and resources. By capturing priorities in a life plan, we can better do that, and perhaps someday we might hear these words:
“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little: I will set you over much.” (Matthew 25:23)
What is God’s Vision for Your Future?
A life plan doesn’t have to be complicated. At its essence, you are trying to discern a vision for where God wants you to go in the future.
To help you identify that vision, try capturing your thoughts on these questions:
- What is my overall purpose in life?
- What type of person am I supposed to be?
- What does God want me to include in my life plan?
- What talents do I have, and what do they position me to do?
- What are the most important things in my life, in the long run?
Hopefully, this exercise will inspire you to dream and find a hopeful vision for where God wants you to go. Including those ideas in a life plan can lead you to possibilities you might not identify otherwise, and help you make the most of your time, talent, and resources.
“The poor man is not he who is without a cent, but he who is without a dream.” (Harry Kemp)
Later, you will be glad you took the time to plan your life around those things which are most important. And any time, at any age or under any circumstances, is a good time to get started.
Because in life, it’s not how you start the race, or how you perform in the middle, that matters.
It’s how you finish!
Question: In the long run, what things in life are most important to you?
Action: Schedule time on your calendar to brainstorm about a personal vision.