What's the plan?

So, what are you planning to do with the rest of your life?

Good question. I had been asking that of myself over recent years and the fact is that I didn't have a real good answer. It wasn't that I didn't have anything to do or I wasn't taking on and finishing projects of various sizes - that seemed to be the norm. Lack of busyness was not the problem because it seemed there was never enough time to do all that could have been done. Passion to excel at something significant was never in short supply for me. Needs to be met were always evident and growing by the day. The desire to please God through knowing, loving and serving him faithfully was ever present in my life. Yet I kept getting the sense that there was something else that I had been created and prepared by God to do, something defining to spend the rest of my life doing.

Have you ever felt that way? You enjoy what you do but you are not convinced that you are yet in full stride as you pursue your life's purpose? Perhaps you’re going ahead, but you still a little unsure of the ultimate goal? Many men and women have talked with me over time about whether or not their lives have made any difference in this world. They wonder, ‘Have I accomplished anything of real significance that will outlast me?’ I can relate to what they are asking because I've asked the same thing.

Not so long ago it came to me to consider not so much what I've done to this point but about how I want to finish. In some ways I wish I had thought of this when I was much younger, when I had my whole life ahead of me. To those of you in your early years, realize that it's not too soon to think about this and learn from the experiences of people you know that are farther along life’s path. Whatever your stage in life, it is well worth your while to ask the hard questions about your ultimate purpose so that you can finish your life strong with few regrets about what might have been.

So, where do you start? Several years ago I developed a personal purpose statement that was to be the overall measure and guide for what I did. Recently I went back to that statement and looked at what I had originally set out to do and asked myself if I had been successful or not with its mandate. To be honest, I was amazed at how much my life was reflected in this simple statement. It was actually encouraging to revisit the mission for my life and see the results of leaving a mark where I had been on purpose. Rather than feeling unfulfilled by giving myself to aimless pursuits, I felt a deep satisfaction that comes from completing something worthwhile. Without that mission statement I would not have had a credible reference tool to evaluate my progress.

I have recently updated my life mission statement to reflect what I hope to accomplish in the big scheme of things. When I get to the end, how will I finish? The questions that I’m asking are life-defining. What things will I leave behind me when I'm gone that will make an eternal impression? What things am I willing to give my life to that will influence others to spend their lives wisely and productively for Christ? Answer those questions and you will have a good foundation to build your own mission statement.

I hope that this insight has inspired you to consider the potential of your life to make a difference in the real world in which you live. I trust that you will ask God the tough questions and listen to his answers. I encourage you to develop a personal life mission that sets its sights on making an eternal impression for Christ in your everyday world from now to the moment you finish the journey.