I have been working on a lot of paperwork lately, and in this paperwork, some form of the question, What would you like to be doing five years from now? keeps coming up. A question like that can really give a man pause. There is so much to think about… At any rate, the response I have been giving in the paperwork goes something like this:
“Although I want to avoid the hubris of overconfidence about my future plans (James 4:13-15), I do try to cultivate a sacred imagination before the Lord, whereby He and I continue to write my story as He leads. As I imagine the next chapter of my family’s and my story, I can think of a number of exciting possibilities; but probably the most appealing is the following picture:
“Five years from now, I am serving as a teacher in a quality Christian high school (perhaps a classical one). My students and I are learning of the Lord Jesus Christ both through our coursework and through our relationships. My relationships with my colleagues go beyond collegiality to a real depth of love and fellowship in Christ that evinces, for both us and our students, a true experience of the truth and grace of our Lord.
“My family is involved with me in the life of the school community. My son has graduated from the school, and my youngest daughter is a senior there. I have finished my MA and have obtained the appropriate certification to make me a full contributor to the betterment of the school. I am maturing in my craft as a teacher.
“Perhaps Shelly and I are seeking the Lord about the possibility of further education (e.g. a ThM?). And maybe – just maybe – I have finally realized my years-long dream of publishing my book – or perhaps more realistically, I am just about to finish a final draft with my publisher.
“And just about the most important of all, my family and I are deeply involved in a local church fellowship where we are enjoying a profound depth of Christian community and friendship with like-minded believers, serving with them to live out the gospel for the sake of God’s kingdom. Specifically, we are involved together in a hospitality ministry with poor, homeless and other disadvantaged people, not merely a do-gooder charity, but a sharing of life with the blessed poor as the practical outflow of the gospel of Jesus (Luke 14:12-14, et al).
“That is a vision of the future for which I pray all the time!”
Something like this would really be great, but I would be very happy just to know that I am pleasing my Lord and being the hero that my wife and children need me to be — the kind who points them beyond himself to Christ.