Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
It’s a common question. It is asked in job interviews and performance reviews. It is asked by financial advisor, head hunters and maybe even real estate agents. There are have been 3 distinct times in my life that I have been asked this question and the answer literally changed the trajectory of my life.
The first time was when I was in college, maybe my first or second year, and my college advisor asked me the question where do you want to be in 5-10 years? That was easy, I wanted to be out of college, have a job and be earning a living!! "Yes but what do you see yourself doing?", my advisor pushed. Well, that question wasn’t so easy. It is hard at the age of 18 to decide what you want to be for the rest of your life. But slowly we carved out an answer, and I selected the classes that were needed for my major. I managed to get a couple of undergraduate degrees, make my way into graduate school and earn a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. Seven and a half years after that conversation I was working in a job I loved and earning a living. But that may not have happened if my advisor hadn’t asked the question.
The second time I was asked that question I was expecting my second child, Nate, just a short 18 months after having Isabella. I was a little overwhelmed with everything, Erik had just returned to work maybe 6 months prior after being laid off for 15 months. I was working as a Speech Language Pathologist for the Kansas City KS school district. We had a one year old baby and another on the way. I was trying to decide whether I should return to work after our second child was born or stay at home. Could we balanc the high cost of day care with my meager salary, we were still at the penny pinching stage of life and money was beyond tight. A dear friend asked me, “what do you picture your life like 5 years from now?” That was easy, I pictured myself walking my kids to school each day, being there when they got home, volunteering at their school, and being there when my kids needed me. “You can’t do that if you are working full time.” was my friend reply. She was right, the next day I turned in my resignation and have been a stay at home mom ever since. Loving ALMOST every minute of it. That may not have happened if my friend hadn’t asked the question.
The third time was just a few years ago, and I was the one asking the question. This time it wasn’t about work, or money, or any of the traditional life plans. This time, the question was far more important. I asked myself where do you want to be spiritually 5 years from now? 10 years? even 20 years?
The picture I saw in mind was me as a older, yet still amazingly stylish woman (hehehe), who knew the Bible by heart. Someone who had scripture carved onto her heart and on the tip of her tongue. A wise woman who knew what God had to say and had his words constantly running through her mind. It was a beautiful picture. The only problem was I didn’t really know any scripture by heart. There was no way I could be this wise old woman, if I didn’t start learning God’s word. So I got out my Bible, I grabbed some index cards and I went to work. And the simple task of memorizing scripture has forever changed my life.
I worked on memorizing scripture, while I washed the dishes at night, while I waited in the car for my kids endless activities, while I cleaned the house, even while I lay in bed at night, any chance I got. And slowly it started to penetrate, not only my incredibly thick head, but my very soul. His words, his spirit started to filter into all parts of my day. My attitude changed, the words I used changed, my desires changed. I was finally starting to become the woman God has always wanted me to be. And no, I am not there yet, but God is so very, very slowly using his word to change me. And it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t asked the question.
So I ask you, where do you want to be spiritually 5 years from now? 10 years from now? Even 20 years from now?
And how are you going to get there?