In 2000 I wrote my normal one-year goals, and I also wrote what I called my 2020 vision, my goals for the next 20 years to the year 2020. One of the principles of goal setting is that we tend to overset our short range goals and under set our long rang goals, and I definitely did that for my 20-year goals. I accomplished significantly more than I had envisioned 20 years ago for my life, in just about every area.
So 2020 is about to come to an end, and the question is how long shall I make my next set of long-range goals for. I am 72 years old, I feel good, have a reasonable amount of energy, and I still have passion and fire for ministry. I know that could end quickly with cancer, heart problems, or other health issues that are common to guys my age. I have gone back and forth on this. On the low side I have thought I will eliminate all goals except for one-year goals, and just take life now one year at a time. But that seems so chicken and short sighted. On the high side I have thought I will just go for another 20 years with my goals. My goals energize me and help keep me young or younger anyway. But 92 years old sounds a bit on the high side for having much energy and passion for teaching or preaching. I would probably set my goals for the last 5 years to major on ministry to seniors. I would probably have to learn how to do hospital calling and funerals better than I do now!
I have said before that I would make 85 years of age my target for doing ministry.
Caleb said, “I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Giants were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken.”
That is 13 more years; I think I can do that. As Caleb said, “perhaps the Lord will be with me.” Or I could go for 16 more years and make it an even 60 years of Pastoring at JBC. That would make me 88 years old, that sounds cool.
Have you ever sat down and written what you want to do in the next 13 or 16 years? It was easier at 52 years of age to write 20 year goals than it is now to do 13 year goals, for sure. I want to write physical goals like bicycle trips. I have three really big ones planned and shorter one’s in between. I need to write financial goals. I opted out of Social Security when I started out in ministry and don’t have a retirement program so that goal or goals will be fairly important. I have lots of ministry goals in mind here at JBC that will gradually change as I become more and more of a backup player. But on the other hand I want to be faithful and responsible so as to justify getting a paycheck. I am thinking of husband goals, father goals, and grandpa goals. I also am thinking seriously about goals for my house and property. And of course I am thinking about fishing and hunting goals.
Writing goals is an intense exercise of trying to discern what God’s will is for your life. He has a plan for my life, He has goals already set for me, and I need to figure out what they are. My personal commitment to follow Him, to seek Him, and to serve Him with all of my heart is the key.
13 more years? 16 more years? I don’t know! I think I will decide tomorrow.