As Amy and I prepare to launch our youngest into the next phase of her life and we look ahead to an empty nest in 2017, I have been taking time to get some clarity about what our next phase of life looks like.
Clarity is the quality of being clear and easily understood, but many times are lives become so cluttered with the tyranny of the urgent we don’t take the necessary steps of creating a clear path to where we want to go that is easily understood. Clarity will only come when you clarify your vision, the values that are most important to you, and vehicle you will use to arrive at your destination.
Vision Clarity – The prophet Habakkuk gave us some good advice when he told us to “write down the revelation and make it plain.” Writing down the vision for your life helps you to simplify it. Your vision has to become plain and simple to you so you can make progress towards the purpose and plan God has for you. Proverbs tells us that “where there is no vision from God, the people run wild, but those who adhere to God’s instruction know genuine happiness.” Writing your vision down helps you to harness what’s inside your heart. When vision is not written down today, it is usually forgotten by tomorrow. Genuine happiness comes when we create a clear and plain path to see the vision for our lives fulfilled.
Value Clarification – What you valued in your 20’s, 30’s and 40’s may not matter much to you as you continue to mature. Clarifying your values will help you understand what really matters most to you in your next phase of life. The Apostle Paul clarified what was most important to him in Philippians 3:7-9:
“I once thought these things were valuable (the things mentioned in vs. 5-6) , but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.”
There is nothing muddy about what mattered most to Paul, and even more important; what we value needs to be important to God. Spiritual maturity as displayed in the life of Paul, often will bring clarity to the values that will become the fuel that gets us to our vision.
Vehicle of Choice – If vision is where we are going and values are what is going to fuel us; the vehicle represents what will carry us to seeing our vision fulfilled. The vehicle consists of many choices and doesn’t look the same for everyone. My vehicle is ministry within the local church, my wife’s vehicle is early childhood education, my son’s vehicle currently is sports and we are in the process of discovering what my daughter’s vehicle looks like now. The key is choosing a vehicle that can carry your vision and values without compromising them.
Make it plain, make it matter, and choose wisely.