Instead of setting my sights on 2020 and pushing for more and bigger, I decided to take everything one day at a time. I committed myself to becoming a stronger believer, a better husband, a more caring father, and a more hands-on pastor. Then, without any numerical benchmarks or ten-year goals in mind, I got up every day determined to take one more step forward in those essential aspects of my life.
While concentrating on that, the Lord has done more in and through me in the last decade than I ever would have given him the space to do if I’d been busy with my own goals.
Instead of pushing for a bigger church, I’ve discovered the incredible joy of small – and have been given unbelievable opportunities (literally, if you’d told me about them in advance I would not have believed you) to write, speak, travel and learn. And even if these outside-the-box ministry opportunities hadn’t happened, I couldn’t have put myself in a better local church ministry than we have.
Instead of trying to leverage new relationships to gain greater influence, I’ve spent more time with my kids – and now my grandkids – and we’ve seen them blossom into loving, self-sustaining adults (the kids, that is, not the grandkids yet). They are our greatest joy and our greatest accomplishment.
Instead of working harder outside my home, I now work alongside Shelley in our home “office” (aka, the outdoor patio) living life, doing ministry and traveling together.
Instead of trying to do more for Jesus (as in, growing a bigger church and ministry) I’ve been spending far more time with Jesus. Going deeper, not bigger.
Looking To 2020, 2030 And Beyond
None of this would have been true if I had set my own path a decade ago.
I was not wise enough, loving enough or emotionally stable enough at that time to see a healthy path ahead – let alone to imagine where I’ve ended up.
There’s no way anyone other than God could have foreseen the changes, opportunities and joys that have been ours in the last decade – along with the moments of sorrow and sadness.
If you have a clear path for yourself, your family and your ministry for 2020, or even for 2030, that’s great! Goals like that are very helpful for a lot of folks. But be sure to allow some open space for surprises, disappointments and God-ordained changes.