Where do you see yourself in five years?
Most of us have gotten that question at some point in our lives. I increasingly dislike it. It makes me squirm. I get uncomfortable with my inability to answer it. I’ve been around just long enough to know that life takes us places we wouldn’t expect.
That day I sat in a tiny corner coffee shop telling Scott I didn’t think we should date, I never would have imagined that three years later, we would be married and living in New England.
The day I sat on the step of the front porch, my legs stretched into the sunshine, finally accepting the direction to go to Grove City College, even though I originally wanted to go elsewhere - little did I know my experiences there would shape my calling, showing me the need for people to gently handle the pain within the church with the Gospel. Little did I know that the result would be for me to go to seminary.
We've had times when seasons of sickness and pain forced us to a screeching halt. When we couldn't focus on next week, next month, next year. When the question "how have you been?" became too broad and shrunk to "how are you today, right now?" We held our plans loosely and focused on making it through moment by moment, doing the next right thing.
I am sure each of you could tell story after story of ways God surprised you with the course of your life. Of ways He took your plans or your timing and transformed them into something new.
I'm all for plans and preparation and foresight. Believe me. Ask my friends. Look at my calendar. But when I look at my own short life, and I look at yours, I get the message loud and clear that we should hold our plans with very open hands.
I wonder, though, if that is one of the secrets to a life well lived—focusing on living faithfully, finding joy, and loving others well in each moment we’re given. Maybe the best place to focus our attention isn’t the horizon but the ends of our fingertips and the ground under our feet.