On the eve of the eve of a new decade... I've been thinking about an article Brian Heasley (from 24/7 Prayer) wrote a while ago about "decades".
"I occasionally meet people who appear to be flicking the remote of their life all the time, going from one channel to the next until they find what they enjoy. Although by the time they find what they enjoy they have so shortened their own ability to give anything long term attention they move on. Thus they just flick through life hoping one day to land on the channel that suits them. Project to project, new initiative to new initiative!
Life as a channel hopper can't be fun.
I once heard someone say "We don't often think of our lives in decades!" OK let's say we have 8 decades of life to live with, if your reading this you have probably lived between 2 and 4 of those decades. So you have 3 or 4 decades left.....
Let's say you have 4 uber-productive decades, what would you like to stick at and achieve per decade? 4 Decades, maybe 4 achievements! Maybe achievements is the wrong word then again maybe it's not. Be good to see people getting a bit more definite about what they want from life.
People without vision wander aimlessly."
Blowing around from place to place... thing to thing... pet passing passion to pet passing passion leaves people in a bad place. Your friendships become fleeting and shallow, it's nearly impossible to establish the type of "community" that Bible espouses, the chances of significant achievement are slim, and the likelihood that your life will be unmemorable becomes high.
I read a tweet this morning from @jaybrock that said,
"92% of resolutions fail because they're largely outcome focused. This year, zoom in on the process, too."
With a "channel flipping" mindset, I can see how an idealistic goal that the journey starts out with, would never actually happen. I like the idea of thinking in decades because there is work, accountability, and investment inherent in it. It doesn't matter if what my passion is doesn't happen today, tomorrow, or even this year... because I'm working towards something of substance and I'm willing to develop personally and professionally.
Jules from Pulp Fiction might disagree with me... with his "walk the earth" theology...
... but even Jules found out that in real life, what we do means something to our future.
Often we have no idea where to even start. But James 1: 5-8 has a good answer for that and a real challenge to hear God... and get your butt in gear.
5-8If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
As we enter a new decade, I find myself sitting at a good place. 33... 3 kids... house... loving wife... and a thriving church that is willing to work and invest towards important things. I know what I want out of my 30's. I know how I want to enter my 40's. What I don't know totally, is how I'm going to get there. The God mystery lies in between. So it looks like I have some story to write. None of the Big Picture dreams will happen if I'm not motivated enough to throw myself into (and thrive in) what I've been given to do with THIS day... hearing the voice of God all the way.