Five Year Plan?

Have you ever made a five-year plan? I have been asked on a number of occasions where I see myself in five years, and I always marvel at the people who are able to answer that question with more than a mumbled, “I’ve no idea…”

There are days when I wish I had some idea of what my life will look like five months from now; other days even five weeks seems like a stretch! I have spent much of the last fifteen years of my life (since graduating college) with only a vague idea of where life might take me beyond the next three or six months. Sometimes I have reached the end of that three or six month commitment with no clue of what I was going to do next.

In recent months, I have grown to like the idea of a five-year plan more and more. I still love adventure, but I’ve begun to long for a more settled kind of adventure. Maybe it’s because I’m inching closer to the latter half of my thirties, but I would love to have a more definite idea of what God has in store in the days to come.

I know some big picture ideas of what I believe God has spoken to me about my future. Those ideas include music, writing, marriage, and discipleship among others. The trouble is, some of those have been a part of my ‘five year plan’ for nearly a decade and a half. One or two of them have already been a part of my life, and I pray they continue to be. Some seem to be on the verge of breakthrough into new levels, and others seem no closer than they were fifteen years ago…

The thing about this idea of the five-year plan is that it makes it a challenge at times to live day-to-day. There is a tension in me as I begin a season of prayer over the next month specifically for God’s direction on some of these big picture things He’s put in my heart. On one hand, I would love to know where the next few years, (or even the next year!) will take me, and I hope that this next month will present new open doors and opportunities to move forward into more of what He has in store for me.

On the other hand, I find it so easy to get focused on the big picture and how the future might be, that it’s difficult to commit to things for today (or a few weeks from now). As these big things hover just at the edge of breakthrough, it is easy to put off making decisions or doing things today because “what if ___________ happens tomorrow?”

 I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I’m not even guaranteed tomorrow. So, as I embark on a time of more focused prayer, I want to dream about what God has in store for the future, but I don’t want to focus so much on then that I miss out on now. May God help all of us to find the balance between dreaming and doing.

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