“Why do most of us spend more time planning a week’s vacation than we spend planning our lives?” Ouch! That question grabbed my attention. And then a second statement was the zinger of zingers: “It’s no wonder so many of us find our lives have ended up in a place we never would have chosen. We sit in the passenger seat and accept life as it comes.” This was all packed in a pre-release promo paragraph for a new book.
I was hooked. I pre-ordered the book. It arrived this week. “Living Forward” by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy. It’s going to be a good one. Can’t wait to work my way through it. The subtitle is: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life you Want.
Drifting. It is so common. In every area of life. As a spiritual leader for over 37 years, I constantly encounter drift. People who had no intention of ending up where they are.
Yesterday, it was an older man. Just showed up at my office. Had to talk to a pastor. Lost his decade-long job at a church due to budget cuts 18 months ago. Drifted spiritually for the past year. He was angry at God and the church. Suddenly, he realized he was headed over the waterfall of pornography addiction when his wife came home and surprised him in the middle of his secret vice. He told me it was a slow drift. Unintentional. But now, it’s a crisis.
This morning, it was a middle age woman. A private Facebook message. More than two decades of marriage. Raising kids. Busyness. Career advancements. Now it’s a crisis. A husband that wants a divorce. Devastation. But it didn’t happen overnight. It was drift. Marital drift. Little to no investment in each other over the last several years. Minimal intentionality. Didn’t make any effort to stay connected. They drifted a part. Now it feels like the gap is too wide to reconnect.
The first chapter in “Living Forward” is appropriately titled: Acknowledge the Drift. Hyatt and Harkavy identify four reasons drift happens: 1) It happens when we are unaware. 2) It happens when we are distracted. 3) It happens when we are overwhelmed. And 4) It happens when we are deceived. I’ve experienced all four of these at one time or another. How about you?
The second half of the opening chapter is focused on the consequence of drifting—confusion, expense, lost opportunity, pain and regrets. In pastoral counseling, I’ve listened to thousands of “if only’s: if only I had spent more time with…, if only I had been courageous enough to…, if only I had been more…, if only I hadn’t….if only, if only, if only.
Today, even if you feel you’ve drifted too far off course, it’s simply not true. It’s never too late to start over. You can’t change the past. But you do have the power to change the future. God will help you if you ask Him. Good choices today will positively alter your life tomorrow. It’s all about intentionality and being purposeful.
There are many different ways to live forward. I’m working through this very practical step-by-step guide…Living Forward. You might choose a different path. That’s okay. Just be intentional. Choose not to drift. Get the life you want.
QUESTION: What is one step you will take today to prevent drift in your life? I’d love to hear it. Please share it in the comment section below. Thanks!