My parents are about to complete a 10-year dream. Actually, in all honesty my dad has had this dream for the last 10 years. He’s always wanted to add a screened-in deck to the back of their house, complete with a rather large flat screen TV from which he can watch countless hours of PGA golf and Auburn football.
The deck has been 10 years in the making. Ten years of planning, thinking, doing other things, thinking about it again, getting serious about it, backing off from it. Ten years of wishing they had one, glad they hadn’t spent the money on it. Ten years of not now, maybe later.
So for whatever reason (actually I know the reason – my mother finally said OK. He wore her down after 10 years of persistent hint dropping) the deck is finally being built. A little late for this year’s Masters, but in plenty of time to enjoy spring and summer evenings without having to fight off the annoying official Alabama state bird – the mosquito – and then on to what will hopefully be a more enjoyable fall of football.
And that got me thinking – in 10 years what will I wish I had done today? What do you wish you had done more of 10 years ago? Read more books to your grandchildren? Served a little more at church? Had a weekly date night with your spouse?
It could be something not so thought provoking – heaven knows I wish I had been working out regularly for the last 10 years. And when I say “working out,” let’s be clear. I actually detest working out because my body tends to revolt in a series of swellings, aches in pains – mostly in areas I didn’t even know could hurt – when I get a consistent routine in place. (And when I say consistent, that really adds up to about two solid weeks of mediocre effort, like walking my dog.) I wish I had been working out for the last 10 years so that my clothes would fit better and certain areas wouldn’t jiggle like jell-o, but I have consciously made the repeated decision to do something else with my time (like eating M&M’s while binge watching some dumb show on Netflix).
I’ve come to realize that little choices I make every day lead to a week of choices, then a month, and on to a year… and then all of a sudden I’ve made 10 years of choices that hopefully add up to a purposeful life as the decades add up.
Proverbs 13:4 says, “The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” I personally like the Message version: “Indolence wants it all and gets nothing; the energetic have something to show for their lives.” I’m not always energetic, but I try. And I definitely want to have something to show for my life when Jesus and I play my highlight reel together.
So what should you be doing now – today – to keep you from saying what my daddy did about his deck: “I wish I had built this 10 years ago!” Make that first decision today that will build a decade full of intentional choices and purposeful living.