You in five years – in the absence of a crisis.
The series we’re in is called You in Five Years. Who will we be five years from now if we continue our present course, and who do we want to be five years from now? Those are the two questions. Where is our momentum taking us right now, and do we like that destination, because now’s the time to get off the train if we don’t like where it’s going?
Bottom Line: Change happens when we create a default future.
Something To Talk About:
Who will you be in 2024? What do you want to accomplish 60 months from now. Often getting to where you want to be requires change. Consider the following three steps:
- It takes drastic action: Each moment is a chance to change the course of your life. That future often requires risk. Sometimes we’re in our comfort zone – where nothing changes – for so long that we lose direction, purpose, motivation and desire to forge the future we desire. An example of that is the story of Elisha that begins in 1 Kings 19:14-21. God tells Elijah to anoint Elisha as the prophet to replace him. In this passage we read that Elijah finds Elisha plowing in a field with a pair of oxen and immediately throws his mantle on Elisha as an invitation to follow him. Elisha immediately obeys and burns his plow and cooks the oxen and gives it to his friends to eat. Elisha exhibited a total commitment to Elijah. He wasted no time in obeying. He didn’t go away to take time to think about it. He didn’t write out a list of pros and cons. He didn’t play it safe. He immediately said yes to God’s calling through Elijah. In all, Elisha took some drastic action. We too may need to take some dramatic steps if we are to get to the future we desire. Drastic action is needed sometimes to overcome inertia.
- Steady progression: There is value in small wins. And there is value in persistent effort. But we are seeking steady progression not perfection. We are in the process of moving toward a destination in our spiritual life. We will never be perfect. But when we focus on the progression, the great majority of the time we will reach our destination. The you in five years is the destination. Making steady progress in our spiritual life requires being part of a small group, making good life choices, reading the Bible, and praying. John Maxwell put it this way. He said, “improvement doesn’t happen in a day, but it must be daily.” It’s not going to happen in a day. You cannot be changed by tomorrow, but it has to happen daily if we’re to get to where we want to be.
- Enjoy the momentum: 1 Corinthians 9:24 says, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” We all need spiritual momentum in our lives. God always wants us to keep moving forward because moving backwards is a bad option. We generate momentum in our lives when we are in sync with God We are always learning in the Lord, walking in greater wisdom and growing to experience His presence in our lives. We take one shaky step forward, not knowing what to expect or what God might do, but He shows up, takes our hand, so we take another step forward toward our future. Then another step and another as momentum builds. And as momentum builds, God may move us in one direction or the other because He has something better for us than what we anticipated for ourselves today and in the future. We don’t want to go back to where we were, walking instead in the direction God has chosen for us. And as we walk momentum builds. And builds.
- Would you say you are living a settled-for-life? Do you think that will lead to a settled-for-future as well?
- God has placed more within you than you realize. Agree or disagree and why? What possibilities lie within you that will contribute to the you in five years?
- What in your mind is drastic action? In what areas of life would we need drastic action to change the you in five years?
- In what area of your life would you like to make steady progress? What spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress in five years? Conversely, what area of your life most needs simplifying, and what’s one way you could simplify in that area?
- How would you rate your patience? How can you be persistent in the small, daily habits that will help you progress toward your future?
- How can we develop momentum in our spiritual life? What are specific things we can do to regain lost spiritual momentum?
- If you have never asked God, “What do you want me to do with my life over the next five years?” ask Him today.
Take one thing home with you:
Business school will teach you the importance of being progressively dissatisfied. Always be looking to be better in both the short- and long-term. Mozart is perhaps the greatest composer in history, producing over 600 works. But he was never satisfied. He would listen to different compositions for hours on end and then deliberately make changes in his own compositions. He did this many times, tirelessly going through every bit of the composition until he was satisfied. This is the reason why his compositions are so beautiful.
The Apostle Paul was saved, but not satisfied. The man who wrote much of the New Testament was not satisfied. He believed there was still plenty of room for improvement in his Christian life. As much as he had grown, there was more growing to do. He was mature enough to realize that he was not mature enough. We need to understand the future is not a destination, it is a never ending process. As we look at ourselves 5 years from now, we need to remember that it is a process, and that we should never be satisfied with where you are, and always be determined to make the next five years of your life the best five years of your life.