Begin with the End in Mind
If you’re ever really, really bored, you could do a word-study on the word “chaff” in the Bible. You’ll find that chaff is always getting a bad rap. It’s either being consumed in a fire, blown away, or destroyed by God in some horrific way. Why does God have it out for chaff so bad?
Chaff is a collection of debris that aimlessly floats around. It has no purpose or meaning. It’s simply tossed around by every passing wind. But, we’re not supposed to live our lives like chaff! We’re not supposed to be tossed around by every passing whim, driven by circumstances or every word and expectation of people around us. Our lives are meant to be fixed on purpose, intentional, focused on a bigger picture. How do we do that? By beginning with the end in mind!
Here are 3 Keys to living your life with the end in mind:
1.) Attend your own funeral: I was inspired by Stephen Covey’s writing the first time I attended my funeral. I went there in my thoughts. I observed the people who were there and I asked myself, “What do I want them to say about me when I’m gone?” As a result, I was able to produce a short epitaph for every role and relationship that is important to me. Reviewing that list of desired accomplishments and relational goals each week keeps me focused on the big picture.
2.) Keep Your Lamp Burning: The ultimate end of life as we know it will be the return of Jesus to the earth. I don’t have any exclusive insight on what that will be like. On that day, though, I am sure that everything that seems so important to our everyday lives will fade to insignificance. There’s a parable in Matthew 25 that talks about this day. In the parable, ten bridesmaids are waiting for the arrival of the groom. They have their lamps with them to light His way. The groom is delayed. Some of the bridesmaid have enough oil to keep their lamps burning. The others don’t. When the groom finally arrives, only some of them enter into the celebration. The others are out looking for oil and never make it in.
The Bible is clear that no man knows the day or hour when Jesus will return. The only question, then, is will we be ready? Will our lamps be burning? Here are some things I do to keep my lamp burning in anticipation of the end:
- Attend church every week
- Hang out with other people who are burning lamps
- Spend time daily in the Bible and praying
- Devote myself to sharing His love with others
3.) Don’t forget to G.R.O.W.L.!
Get Rid Of What’s Left
People are very busy these days. We fill up our calendars and to-do lists to the max and then we fill in every remaining second staying on top of social media. The key to staying focused is not really about doing more, it’s about getting rid of what’s left. If it’s not contributing to Keeping Your Lamp Burning or having the words you want said about you at your funeral, then why do it? Maybe it’s time to give yourself permission to GROWL!
Have you found FOCUS an important part of your life? How do you go about it?