Saturday, February 8, 2014

What If I Knew?

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”

 Gloria Steinem

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Abraham Lincoln

“Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

Warren Buffett

What if I knew how my life would end?  What if I knew all the good and bad that awaited me?  More precisely, what if I knew there was something very good awaiting me, a wonderful destiny, would it change the way I live now?  What if I could determine at least some of the future good by what I do now? What if everything I have been searching and waiting for has also been searching and waiting for me, too?  What if there were huge blessings awaiting me?  Would I do things differently?  Would I be prepared for them?  Would I deserve them?  Would I be able to hold on to them?
There are stories of people who have won millions of dollars in the lottery only to lose it within ten years or fewer.  Would I be one of those people?  Would I lose all the blessings I’ve been given?  Would I squander them?   I have the potential to do so.  What, then, do I do to be worthy of the blessings I’ve been given and the ones I will be given? 
The first thing to do is to take an inventory of the blessings I have right now.  Here they are:
·      My Muse
·      My daughters
·      People who love me
·      People I work with or for
·      My car
·       My place
·      My health
·      My talents and abilities
·      My resources
·      My mind
·      My time

There are more, but these come to mind without too much thought.  
Now what about my future blessing?  What is that or what are they?  I have no idea.   What if, however, I were to pretend, imagine or visualize that a huge blessing were awaiting me and that all I needed to do was prepare for it so that I could hold on to that blessing for the rest of my life? 
For example, let’s say I knew for certain that I was going to win $10,000,000 in the lottery, but I didn’t know when.  It would be a year from now at the least and ten years at the most.  How would I prepare?  Would I study books on finance and investments?  Would I plan my dream home?  Would I research charities?  Would I start training for the work I would do that would give me direction?
What if I knew the perfect relationship was awaiting me?  Would I work on becoming a better person?  Would I begin changing or losing bad habits?  Would I clean up after myself more?  Would I take care of my health so I could enjoy more time?  Would I read books on relationships?  Would I clean up current relationships that are damaged because of my bad choices?  Would I seek and extend forgiveness so I could enter my future relationship free of burdens?
What if I knew the perfect occupation was awaiting me?  (By “occupation” I mean career, volunteer work or ministry.)  Would I begin studying and training now?  Would I begin applying current knowledge?  Would I learn how to get along in the workplace so I don’t have problems in my future occupation?   Would I stop gossiping and complaining now so that I don’t create habits that are harder to break in the future?
What if I knew I were going to meet God one day?  (I don’t mean die.  I mean, literally meet Him.)  Would I start doing things to please Him now?  Would I take care of the planet, my time, the people I love and myself?  Would I spend more time in prayer?  Would I read and study?  Would I ask Him to develop our relationship now?   Would I be more careful about what I did, said and thought?  Would I be kinder?
Finally, what would I do if I knew I would die one day?  Would I use my time differently?  Would I enjoy the people I love more?  Would I spend less time on my own needs?  Or would I spend more time on my own needs?  Would I study and read more?  Would I make better choices, ones that would be less selfish and make me happier?
The truth is all of the above is either going to happen or could easily happen.  I have no guarantees, but why not prepare for the best?  Why not earn the best?  I can act as if it were impossible to fail, as Dorthea Brand says in Wake Up and Live.  I can begin with the end in mind, as Stephen Covey says in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  Starting now, I can prepare for a better life and a better eternity.
I just need to Get Started and Keep Going.