Who will you be 5/10/15/20years from now?
Today, I want to share with you some very important lessons I gathered from listening to Dr. Mensa Otabil preach a message entitled ‘Developing a 20-year Life Plan’. First time I heard him speak on this subject was early 2014 after he had declared ‘ORDER’ as the church’s theme for the year. As usual, the church was overflowing with so many people since it was – yes you guessed right – the first Sunday of the year. No one intends to miss the first Sunday of a new calendar year. I left home earlier than usual that day (I’m always on time but this was a special ‘on time’) because I didn’t want to give up my usual sitting spot. I have a special preference for seats close to the stage. The reason being that at the end of the service I would have siphoned large chunks of Otabil’s anointing into my spirit man. Just in case you didn’t know, the closer you are to the stage and by extension the man of God, the greater the chances of your supernatural breakthrough. Aha! ‘Too much play’ a typical Ghanaian will say. Alright, let’s get to the crux of my message. I want to start with a quote by Myles Munroe:
“The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without a purpose.”
Just recently, the clarion call to plan my future rang so hard in my heart, it felt like a high-voltage electricity had zapped me. I had been prompted a few times but I guess the notifications weren’t strong enough to make me leap to their summons. This ‘electric shocker’ was no joke. I took a sneak peek into the future with my mind’s eye and I didn’t like the outcome. I was confused and somewhat terrified. I’m in my mid-20’s (early 20’s to be precise) and the question I keep asking myself is ‘what have I successfully achieved up until now?’ I can’t even recollect some of the goals I put down some 5 years ago (that’s if I put any goals down in the first place) so how do I possibly go ahead to evaluate myself. This is probably the reason for the tension build-up within me. You don’t leave anything to chance in this life because if you do, life will gladly put you in a place you never asked for – and you sure wouldn’t like it. This is why I felt the need to dig through the internet and feed my soul with this thought-provoking message again. I needed to wake my lazy self up (you probably need to do same too) and get back on track. Frankly speaking, when I listened to the audio again, it felt as though it was only yesterday he spoke those words of wisdom (no exaggerations here). I don’t plan on wasting further ‘typing ink’ and space so let me go ahead to share some of the lessons I learnt.
God has a plan for each one of us. You are not a miscarriage of nature. You are not here by accident. Your parents might have not planned your birth, but God did because He has a project for you. You need to live each day with the mindset that there’s a reason for your existence here on Earth. Quick question: Do you know how the first car came about? It all happened one stormy night in the year 1807 when violent winds spiraled into an old politician’s garage. First, nails, screws, old newspapers and empty flower pots were swept up into the air where they began to collide with one another. As the winds got stronger old paint cans, pliers, dustpans and four basketballs joined the collision process. This random bumping took place over a long period of time until the various automotive parts – bonnet, doors, battery, headlamps,etc – appeared and rearranged completely to form the car. Absolutely ridiculous you say? Yes! Never in history did a car pop out from someone’s garage. There was a plan for its amazing invention. In the same way, God fearfully and wonderfully created each one of us with a unique purpose. This is why Jeremiah full of the Holy Ghost said that God had holy plans for him even before he was conceived. ‘We are not here filling space’ as Otabil said. We need to discover God’s plan for our lives (not OUR plan for OUR lives). And until we find our true purpose, we’d never be able to appreciate who we truly are and function adequately as we are intended to.
God gives us necessary tools to design ourselves according to the plan He has for us.
Not only do we carry specific tasks in our hands, but also we have the ability to tailor ourselves to suit our God-given assignment. I feel this is where many of us fall short. We are struggling to make great strides in certain facets of our lives because the plan and the design is a total mismatch; no points of connection whatsoever. Let’s look at the example below:
Sumo wrestlers are clearly different from gymnasts. You can tell by simply comparing their physique. The gymnast has a slender body and light muscle mass and this helps her to obtain the right balance, agility and strength to pull off a performance successfully. The Sumo wrestler on the other hand is heavy with muscle mass for a reason: the heavier he is, the more difficult it is for his opponent to push him out of the ring. If we should look into their lifestyle habits, I can bet their diet and recommended daily exercises are different. Why? Because each one has to “design” his/her body according to the specific task ahead of them. If you’re a ‘hawk’, you don’t swim; you fly. That’s your build. The plan must influence the design. Spend enough time to understand your God-given plan so you can obtain the fruition of your assignment by choosing the right design.
God’s plan for us is time-bound. You don’t have ETERNITY to accomplish anything on Earth, you only have TIME and that time is finite. Do you realize that in life, the only time you have is the time you make use of? Every other minute, hour or day that goes unused is a part of your life flushed away. Gone never to be regained. It is said that procrastination is the thief of time but I want to push it further by saying PROCRASTINATION IS THE THIEF OF LIFE. Yes. A waste of time surely is a waste of life. Really, we need to stop treating time as though we were playing a game of soccer. There’s no fourth referee to signal any ‘TIME ADDED ON’ here. Work diligently with the time you have because there’s no more time other than what is already set out for us. Sometimes we need that little nudge to remind ourselves that it’s 24 hours in a day, not 29, 7 days in a week, not 15, and 52 weeks in a year, not 1000. If you want to be the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, you begin your search for a mentor during your teen years. You don’t wait till you are past 25 years before you get moving. No. You should have read several books on Entrepreneurship and Leadership, attended very important training workshops and networked with business-minded individuals by now. You don’t wait till the last minute. Also, don’t expend unnecessary energy on so many things at the same time. Like I said, the clock is ticking. Rather, learn to do a few things WELL because that is what will bring the best out of you. I don’t know about you but I sometimes wish I had received these tips a bit earlier. But not to worry at all. At least, I’ve learnt that what needs to be accomplished today needn’t be accomplished 5 or 10 years from now. I need to do what needs to be done now, NOW because time and tide never wait for any man or woman.
Do what God has designed you to do to have fulfillment in Life. Don’t waste your life trying to fulfill your friend’s or parent’s desire. Life is already too short to waste it chasing after someone else’s dreams. Find what is yours. See it. Embrace it. Breathe it. Love it. OWN IT and live life to fulfill YOUR God-given desire. God bless
NB: I’ll be writing a second and final part to this post soon. In the meantime, you’ll find attached to this article a link to a guide on how to draw a personal 20-year life plan. It’s the exact guide I received in church the first time the message was preached. I want you to download and PRINT a copy for yourself. To say what he said on that day, you are free to make changes to the original document. This is just to guide you on your journey to draw an effective personal 20-year life plan. God bless once again!
Click on the link below to download: