Living with the Future in Mind
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
I had a delightful conversation with a friend of mine this morning. He’s in a similar situation as I am with young children and is super busy and a budding career. He was sharing with me some of his struggles, which seem very much like mine.
As a father of four young children under 8 years old, I can appreciate this craziness of a season we’re both living in. During our conversation, I shared with my friend how I come to appreciate the importance of living in the future, while still appreciating “the now” – something that recently dawned on me while I was reading an article by Michael Hyatt.
Looking Back on a Life Well-Lived
In this particular article, Hyatt was talking about looking back to when he was a younger man. I look up to Michael, not only as a man of God in the workplace, but as someone who is well established in the business world and who has a deep well of wisdom for younger folks like me to draw from. I consider him a virtual mentor.
This article stood out to me because Michael was looking back to a time in his life to which I can currently relate.
- He had four young kids and was trying to be an active father.
- He was working full time in a leadership role and rapidly growing his career.
- He was actively involved in ministry.
- He was writing his first manuscript.
Michael shared the importance of time management, the importance of priorities and how balance is key. While Hyatt was looking back 25 – 30 years, to where I am now, I couldn’t help but to look forward 25 – 30 years to where he is now and where I could be.
“What will I be saying when I'm Michael Hyatt's age?” I thought to myself…
A Forward-Gazing Perspective
I have found having a forward-focused mindset is useful in business as well. Like Hyatt 25-30 years ago, right now I am in the throes of one of the craziest seasons of my life.
- My wife and I have an infant, a 4-year-old, a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old.
- We’re extremely busy.
- I am writing the manuscript for my first major published book through Penguin Random House.
- I am running, with the help of a small team, a fast growing, online ministry that includes reaching hundreds of thousands of people every month through my website, telesummits, multiple social media channels and email newsletters.
Sometimes I do not even have time to think about what my next step is going to be, let alone be proactive.
I am in a very reactive season of my life. And, as much as I try, I find myself being a firefighter – what’s the next deadline? Let me work on that. What’s the next project? Let me work on that. Essentially, what’s the next fire? Let me put out that.
I thank God for trusting me with four children. Trusting me with this great responsibility of being a father, being a husband, being an online Biblical health educator and doing all that I have done because it has stretched me beyond my ability. The strength and creativity and success that I draw from to accomplish all that I do is from Him.
It wasn’t always this way, and I have found myself receiving consolation, comfort, wisdom, and guidance by having a forward-gazing perspective. I'm sure that you have heard of the practice of living life today as if it were your last day alive. Essentially, to live with no regrets and put your all-in-all in everything that you do. Or, maybe you've heard of people living their lives in a way that they design what people are going to say at their funeral.
What are people going to say at YOUR funeral?
Sobering thought, isn't it?
Live Life Now in the Future
Personally, I don't live today thinking about what others will say about me. I live thinking about what I will say to them when I get older!
- What will I tell people about the experiences that I am living through right now 30 years from now?
- What lessons will I pass along to them?
- Will I share sage advice about how I didn't just “survive,” but how I learned to THRIVE through the challenges of life?
- Will I give tips about how I learned to honor God, in spite of the worldly temptations around me?
That’s how I am trying to live right now. I am trying to live not in the moment, as much as I am now trying to live up to a standard I will uphold in the future as a wise old man. I am trying to learn from the mistakes before they happen. Trying to see others who have gone through this path and I am trying to embrace this season realizing it will change very soon.
My hope and prayer is that we embrace the abundant life. My hope and prayer is that we seek out God’s hand, seek out wisdom from His spirit, and push forward in a way that we can look back 20 – 30 years from now and be proud of how we lived.
Most importantly, I pray that we live in a way that God will look at us and say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with little, I will now entrust you with much.”