It’s a new year and we’re all thinking about what is ahead of us. What if we think beyond 2021 . . . Where do you want to be five years from now? Ten years? Twenty?
Think about that for a minute. Like really think. Where do you want to be? What do you want to be doing?
If you’re in the middle of the mom years like me, you may immediately calculate the ages of your kiddos. In five years, mine will be 18, 15, 13, 10, and 6 years old. I’ll likely be running around like a crazy lady between senior year events, high school sports, middle school sports, and dragging the two youngest with me everywhere I go. I imagine I’ll have more time for writing with everyone in school, but I know that the past has proven there is never enough time.
Maybe in five years, you think you’ll be married or just beginning the mom years. Maybe you’re anticipating an empty nest or retirement. Maybe you have expectations for your career or aspire to have a little downtime after the hard work you’re putting in now.
Where do you want to be? It’s such a heavy question and one that, if we’re sincere in our effort to answer, really makes us stop and think—to consider where we’ve been, where we are, and then where we want to be.
Evaluating our answer to that question might help us understand a little more about where we are now. My answer reflects my expectation that everything will continue as it has. My situation will not have changed much, I’ll be pursuing the same goals, living in the same place, doing life with the same people. In five years, I WANT much of what I already have.
And there it is, the words that reveal something a little deeper in my heart: I want . . . MY desires, MY plans, MY expectations. My response is mostly about ME. Sure, there is an undercurrent of God’s will, expecting that He will still want me writing, but my answer reveals that I want to be where I want to be.
I have failed to consider that in five years, God may have something completely different planned. And, honestly, it unnerves me to think about His plan wavering from my own. To think about not having these same goals, living in this same place, doing life with these same people, it all puts me a little on edge.
So how do I think of the future in a way that leaves room for God’s plan rather than only MY expectations? Paul helps us understand this a little better in his letter to the Romans.
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (Romans 8:5, NIV).
The Contemporary English Version says it like this, “People who are ruled by their desires think only of themselves . . .”
Ugh. Heart check. Yes, my answer reflects MY desires, but not necessarily what the Spirit desires.
And if I want my life to reflect what the Spirit desires in this new year (or five, ten, twenty years from now), then I must set my mind on God’s will now. I must pray that MY desires match HIS will. Let’s make this verse our prayer this week.
Lord, help me recognize when I am living according to my desires. I want to set my mind on what You desire for my life. Help me make that my focus this week, and in the year and years to come.
In Jesus’ Name,
*Want to join me in meditating on God’s Word this week? Save these words as your lock screen. Write them on a notecard and place them somewhere you’ll see them during your day. Throughout the week, recite them to your kids, your spouse, or a friend. When we focus on His word, He will use it to produce results in our lives.