About two weeks ago I was professionally asked this question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” My initial thoughts to the question went in almost 10 different places in a span of about three seconds. The things I quickly considered were family, education, finances, church, home, work, me and the list went on. I did not have the opportunity to linger on these thoughts, so I wondered, “How can I sum it all up in a way that is general, yet covers all of these bases and does not take twenty-five minutes for me to state it?
For my family alone, it would take a substantial amount of time for me to state where I would like to see us in five years. And while many of these areas overlap, the same is true for every area of my life considered. Of course, I know that my plan may not be God’s plan for me and I have heard the quote, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” But, I do believe in creating a plan and at least giving God something to work with. I give God my plans, knowing that above all, I want His will for my life. Any who…When I think of all the areas of my life that make me who I am, the bottom line is no matter where I would like to go and what I would like to do or become, I know I have not reached my greatest level of potential. Life is something that is progressive, no matter what we do, no matter what we think. Days are always added, never subtracted-even if we seem to personally regress or come to a point of life where we decline, it is an impossibility for the world to go backward. Only in movies and dreams are there opportunities to go back in time and undo, redo or erase. Time is that consistently fleeting, ever present, intangible blessing and curse that hangs over the head of each of us. As powerful as time it, time is really useless without our existence, and it is our very presence which gives time its strength.
So, I’ve pretty much given you a slight scenic route to this end, in five years I see myself better. In every area of my life, Better is what I expect. Better is what I see and it is what I am working toward. Many times, to become better it is a step by step, moment by moment journey of cohesive thoughts and actions. To me better is progressive; it is always moving forward. The aim/goal is perfection, because in my understanding, perfection is definitive and denotes completion; there’s nothing more to attain in perfection. The day we reach perfection is the day we stop living because there will be nothing more to strive toward. Now, don’t misunderstand me, in school, a perfect grade 100 % is the goal and in sports, nothing beats a perfect score, but in life as a whole, I believe our road to perfection is named Better.
Now for those of us who like to seal our mental deal with the Bible, I believe that Better is what Paul was referring to when he said, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14 NIV). This text was written while he was in prison, so he clearly was not in the place of total contentment or perfection. With a little bit of deductive reasoning we can determine that, if there is a goal to be reached, it is a clear indication of (at least) two things, 1. Perfection has not been attained and 2. In order to reach the goal, positive progress [aka Better] must be put in action.
I would like to conclude that the concept of Better takes the pressure off and is less overwhelming. When we see pieces of a puzzle, rather than the puzzle as a whole, even though we are working toward the same end, it seems more manageable and able to be accomplished. Physically, we are less stressed and mentally more clear. An example is someone who decides to go to college and complete their Bachelor’s degree. Now, usually, this takes a minimum of 4 years and about 120 credits to complete. Considering your life over the next four years and all of the things you have to do along with completing 120 credits can seem so overwhelming that many people may decide not to even give it a shot. But, if it is broken down to what it really is; about 15 credits per semester, a few hours a week, it is not as devastating and more convenient and has a much greater chance of being completed. And it is with this reasoning that I put one foot in front of the other and take minute to minute steps of progress toward better.