Wherever you are reading this – if you can, I want you to get out a piece of paper and pen. You’re not being graded on this… this is between you and God, but I want you to think about what comes to mind when I ask you this: “Where do you want to be when you’re 90 years old? What is going to matter to you at those ages? What do you want your life legacy to look like?”
Now let me ask: What did you think about when you thought about where you want to be when you’re 90? What do you want your life to look like? I actually do this exercise every year and the last time I did it was back in December. Let me just share with you a little of what I wrote down:
• First and foremost, I want to be known for my love of Jesus and my love of others.
• I want to be known for how madly in love I am with my husband. I want our marriage to be an inspiration to others.
• I want to be known for how I raised my children and the strong relationship I have with them and their love of Jesus and others.
• I want to be known for being a humble leader that lived a life of integrity.
• I want to be known for the risks I took and for the way that I cared for and fought for the least of these.
• And I want to be known for how I brought laughter and JOY to the lives of others.
How many of you wrote down anything similar to mine?
Want to know what I didn’t write down – what *won’t* matter to me when I’m 90? How many followers I have on social media or how many “likes” I got. What won’t matter is what I think other people think of me or the times I got rejected for taking a risk. You know what won’t matter? Unnecessary drama or disagreements or how clean my house was.
The funny thing is, in a lot of ways COVID-19 has made us all stop and think about what really matters. Suddenly with no sports on TV, no restaurants to eat in, we can’t hug or see the people we love regularly, we aren’t meeting physically in a church building, people are losing jobs, there’s a lot of pain right now… we’re all really seeing what matters most to us.
So when I think about HOW I want to get to that point where I want to be when I’m 90… I think about the little decisions I make day to day that gets me to that point.
Psalm 39:4-7 says:
“Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.”
Our lives are fleeting. Our days are but a breath. But our hope is in Jesus.
This time for me has been such a reminder of how little control I really have and that can be so hard! We can set goals and plan till we are blue in the face… but God’s plan will always take precedent. Can I get an amen?
So, what does this look like practically? In the midst of all that’s going on… with so many things clamoring for our attention – what does it look like to set Christ-centered goals and focus on Him when everything around us feels like it’s spiraling out of control?
Our goal as believers is to run towards Jesus and not look back.
In Philippians chapter 3:12-14 (MSG) the apostle Paul writes: “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
For me… no matter WHAT the rest of 2020 holds, my goal from now on is always going to be that I want to be closer to Jesus at the end of the year than I was at the beginning of the year. I don’t want to walk in place when I walk with Jesus. Get in the Word. Pray. Run towards Him.
Our goal should be wanting everything God has for us.
Paul writes, “So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet!” – Philippians 3:15-16 (MSG)
Paul tells us right there that our lives are a part of God’s plan. We are here for a reason.
Now, we know that when we say “We want everything God has for us,” that doesn’t mean that all that God has for us includes nice houses and nice cars. What God has for us is His gift of grace and mercy and love and the Holy Spirit and the gift of life… and even when we have those things sometimes life is just hard, broken, and painful. But it’s in those hard, broken times of pain that we are being refined and brought closer to Him.
Our goal should be surrounding ourselves with other believers running this same course.
Paul writes, “Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them.” – Philippians 3:17-18 (MSG)
What does your community look like? Do you have people in your life that are encouraging you in your walk with Jesus? Fellow believers running the same race you are – towards Jesus. Also, inviting other believers into the race we’re running.
One of the most impactful ways my family and I have done this is through child sponsorship with Christian nonprofit organization Compassion International. Child sponsorship allows us to play a part in not only having important conversations with our children about discipleship, but we also love how writing letters and communicating with our sponsored children opens up the door for encouragement and the global Christian community.
Our goal should be to focus on our citizenship in Heaven.
Paul writes, “But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own.” – Philippians 3:20-21 (MSG)
We are in the world, but we aren’t meant to be of it… Jesus was here on earth for 33 years, but He is not a citizen of earth… we aren’t supposed to live for the things of this world… I’m not saying that we shouldn’t enjoy this world or the country we live in – we can and we SHOULD – but those things should never be a priority over our allegiance to Jesus and to our Heavenly home.
Setting our focus on Christ and working towards building a life that lives a legacy that I want to leave takes work, but it is worth it. Nothing happens overnight and change takes time, but micro decision after micro decision adds up to make macro changes. So what little changes can you make today, this week, this month that get you moving towards that ultimate goal of Jesus?