There's nothing like being cooped up in bed for several days to make you think about the things that are truly important. And at least part of the time, that is what I have been doing. It's ugly work thinking about your life and how it does or doesn't match up with what you'd like it to be or what you say is really important to you.
When I was a younger man, my dreams were centered on a great wife and raising wonderful kids, a career I loved, and the chance to travel the world, (starting with Japan), enjoying music, friends, and life in general.
I guess you could say I have been blessed because all those things have come to pass- and not from my hand, but from the hand of God who opened every door for these to happen. There wasn't too much, honestly, that was not about fulfilling what I wanted.
Things have changed. I'm older, somewhat wiser, and there's fewer years ahead of me than those behind me. (There's always eternity!)
Now, I'm focused on "finishing well" for the next several decades. Or tomorrow should God decide it's my time, and you never really know when that will be. Do you? I don't, so I want to plan to live life to the fullest as God defines it. He is the One we'll all answer to.
Thankfully, in Jesus as the absolute perfect representation of God the Father, we see a loving and sacrificial God. At the same time, he is fully righteous and pure. He desires not one person be in Hell at the end of time, but He allows each individual to have free will to choose His way or the way of death. His way involves turning our lives inside out to follow Him. Everything else is someone else's way that leads to the wrong final destination.
So, when I pray, I pray for people. That they would know Him, love Him, and spend eternity with Him. It's extremely rare for me to pray for things. Sometimes I pray for circumstances. But generally, it is people. People I love. My wife, my children, my grandchildren, relatives who both know Jesus and those who do not, friends I meet along the way who are undecided about their spiritual choices- the very ones that will determine their eternity.
We spend so much time planning and thinking about how to make this life better, and we give relatively little time into preparing for an eternity where time no longer matters. My ultimate retirement plan is secure in Christ. What's your plan?
(Photograph copyright Matthias.)