Think Ahead

When I was interviewing for jobs I hated the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”  I squirmed because I didn’t see myself anywhere in five years!  I didn’t have a five-year plan, or even a two-year plan!  In my defense, I was fresh out of college and didn’t really know what “real life” was even like.

Now that I’m a little more experienced (stress the word little), I see the value of the question.  Do you have a vision for your life?  If you’re married, do you have a vision for your marriage?  If you have kids, do you have a vision for your kids?  If you’re a leader, do you have a vision for your organization/job/church?  If the answer is no, why not?

How can you move forward if you don’t know what forward is?  How can you make progress toward a goal if you don’t know what that goal is?  I speak from experience when I say that living without a vision is exhausting.  Every problem seems like a major problem.  Life throws you curveballs, but you have no direction.  You don’t know if you can slow your pace or if you need to pick it up, because you can’t tell how close you are to achieving whatever it is you’re striving for.  In a sense, life without vision is like a rat on a wheel.  You can run, but you never really know where you’re going.

In my world, vision is critical.  Working for a church, the temptation is to focus seven days at a time.  It’s so easy to get so focused on this Sunday and this week’s emergencies that you don’t even think about next week, next month, or next year, much less a five-year plan.

Vision is key to success.  If you have vision, you know that in five years you’d like to finish your Master’s degree.  That means you need to pick up your course load now.  In five years, you’d like to be the head of your department.  That means you need to work hard and maybe go back to school now.  You know that in five years your kids will be old enough to understand the gospel.  That means you need to model Christ and talk to them about Jesus now.

So where do you see yourself in five years?


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