Do you have a life plan? If not, I really think you need one. It’s a document that will help you prioritize decisions and make choices so that you end up where you want to be.
Failing to have a life plan is kind of like heading off into life with no idea where you end up. Sure, there will always be detours. But it’s important to have an itinerary if you actually intend to find yourself in a particular destination.
But even if you have a life plan, there’s a really good chance it’s not good enough. I have one and I’m not satisfied with it. It’s not good enough. It’s not compelling enough.
Do you know why?
My life plan is about me.
That’s right. I followed all the recommendations for how to put together a life plan. I prayed. I took some time alone. I thought. I created a document with pretty pictures. And I ended up with a nearly lifeless document of things that I want to have.
Ways I want to be remembered. The kind of person I want to be.
Great! What’s the problem?
Those are good things. But they’re not good enough.
If I’m planning for what I want to have achieved or accomplished by the end of my life, my vision is too small. I can’t see far enough. My planning isn’t comprehensive enough.
No, I need to see further. And so do you.
I’m talking about a life plan that’s about the long game. It’s not about the short putt to sink the ball and walk happily off the green after a few more years. It’s not primarily about padding a 401(k) or . No. This is about a life plan that’s intent to shape the future for the next couple generations.
I need to make my life plan based on the legacy I want to leave behind in my children and grandchildren. In the legacy left in your children and grandchildren.
If I’m serious about honoring God in all that I do, if I really believe it’s my job to help people connect with God, find meaning, and fulfill their destinies, then I have to be thinking about leaving that behind both for and in the next generation.
(No, I’m not talking about choosing a career for my 3 month old now. I’m talking about character traits and perspectives. I’m talking about relationship with God and with other people and with the earth. Stuff like humility and servanthood and integrity.)
So I’m seriously thinking about totally scrapping my life plan and starting over. Sure, I can’t control things. Yes, God is gracious.
But if I’m serious, I need to think about the kinds of people I want my children and their children to be. And then I need to become the kind of person who makes that possible for them.
How do I make that possible?
Well, I’m not exactly sure. I’m still working that out. But I know this.
First, many things are outside my control. But these I know that there are a few things I can do with God’s help.
I can model the behaviors and character traits that are important (that’s more important than blabbing on and on about stuff they’ve never seen me do). I can create rituals to make faith a part of our lives. I can make the most of teachable moments. I can pray for my children and my family.
But it starts here.
- I have to know what I want for them
- What I want for them should line up with the Bible
- I ought to write it down so that I can remember it
- I should build a plan
So, there. I said it.
My life plan isn’t good enough. And if yours ends with you, it’s not good enough, either.
So, what are we going to do about it? What are you going to do about it?
Image credit: Robert S. Donovan