Planning

January 9, 2020

“Our modern world encourages us to prepare for the future through retirement accounts, good education for our children, and insurance to protect our valuables against foreseeable risks. These plans, however, are designed for “time-limited” hereafters, for they encompass a period that lies just over the horizon in terms of the days, months, and years ahead. Compare this timeline with the words of the Lord Jesus concerning the future: “Heaven and earth will pass away” Luke 28:33). How do we prepare for the end of the universe, which includes space, time, and all of creation? Into which future shall we pour our primary energy in this life? Shall we invest in near probabilities and the years of our limited existence, or in the everlasting and unending Kingdom of Heaven?” (Dynamis 1/9/2020)

 

 “People often think of long term planning as preparing financially for that time period between retiring from work and our death. But this is really just extended short term planning. If, as Christians, we believe in the potential of eternal life through Christ after our physical death, it only makes logical sense that He should be our primary focus in this life. This logic perhaps is a good starting point to point us to Christ. Hopefully we don’t reduce Christ to simply a long-term insurance policy in our thought but a get to a place in our hearts where we simply love Him for who He is.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

 

 “You were designed to know Him, not simply to have a comfortable life. You were not created just to get married, have children and a successful career, then grow old and enjoy retirement. These are some of life’s benefits, its side dishes, not its purpose. The tragedy today is that we have taken life’s benefits and tried to make them our purpose. We’re trying to make the side dishes the main course. The result is that we often find the benefits very unsatisfactory. No wonder. So if the purpose of life is not marriage, success, happiness, or any of that, what is it? What were we created for? Answer: We were created to know and worship God..." (NIV Men's Devotional Bible)

 

“I will leave this life and everything in it at some point…The only thing I will take with me is me – my soul, spirit, who I am in my being. Christ promises us eternal life through Himself. That’s the goal of true long term planning, not luxury or ease for a twenty to thirty year plus period. Christ warns us of this type of false thinking in The Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21. It makes so much sense to me to focus on that goal as the first priority, and do everything Christ taught us to do sacramentally in support of that goal. The other goals are fine but only in the right priority order. When they are out of order, ironically, all of the effort we put into what we call long-term planning, can actually cause us more stress even though we are trying to ensure we don’t have stress later in life. We fret over the ups and downs of the market and how it affects our retirement, lose focus on the present by obsessing over the future, and fall into worry and anxiety.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

 

“Escaping into the future is yet another appealing alternative. We search for the perfect spouse, the right job, or car that really suits us. We defer commitments until next year, or set them aside until vacation or retirement. We avoid decisions if conditions are not right, waiting until there is enough money in the account. Life slides past like river, until we discover that today is gone forever, vanished downstream…working for a good retirement can be a good thing, but not at the expense of your eternal life…Planning for retirement—preparing for life before death—is wise, but neglecting life after death is disastrous.” (Dynamis 11/25/2014, Abbot Tryphon, Life Application Study Bible, Luke 12:16-21)

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