In a classic scene in the movie, Pitt and his sidekick, Al Giordino, are in a dried-up river bed in the Sahara desert searching for an ancient shipwreck containing a lost treasure that is now covered over by sand. As they plod along on camels, Giordino is somewhat discouraged at their prospects, and says something like the following to Pitt… (I’m heavily paraphrasing here.)
“Hey, you know that guy you knew in high school who is now trapped in such a horrible situation in life? He works a dead-end job that he hates. And he’s stressed out and his finances are always teetering on the edge, and all that brings with it. Etc, etc… And you know how you just want to go back in time to where he made that first critical wrong decision and started down the wrong path and shake him to his senses and say ‘don’t do that!’”
Pitt responds in the affirmative and asks what his point is. To which Giordino quips something like: “So, here we are in the desert looking for gold in a non-existent ship in a non-existent river. I was just wondering when we might need to reevaluate our own decision-making paradigms here!”
Wow! Talk about insightful! All of us, if we would be honest, need a periodic reevaluation of our decision-making processes in life. We can all very likely look back over our lives and see where we probably should not have taken a certain step, or where we likely should have taken a step that we did not take. I know I could!
Now let me make this personal. My son Micah went off to college knowing in his heart that he was being led into the field of public accounting. But after struggling with the load of accounting classes, certain classes, he changed his major and then graduated with a business degree. Thereafter, he worked in a bank. And then he got a job in an investment firm.
Then one day, six years after he graduated from college, he called me one day and said he wanted to talk with me. I was headed to Nashville for some denominational meetings anyway; so we met for lunch. At that time, he told me that if the 24 year old Micah could go back in time and get his hands on the 18 year old Micah, he would tell him to stay true to his calling, to what he knew in his heart that he really wanted to do with his life.
What is more, he told me knew that he and his wife had talked it out and they both agreed on what he now had to do. He was going to go back to school at night for the next year and a half and take the accounting courses he had not taken but was required to have. Thereafter, he was going to seek employment at an accounting firm to gain some experience while he studied for and took the four components of state exams required to become a Certified Public Accountant.
That conversation happened back in 2015. It has been three years and I am happy to report that he has now met all of his personal goals. He took his required accounting courses at night, then got a job at an accounting firm, and then studied for and has now passed his state exams. In short, in just three brief years, he has now realized his dream of becoming a Certified Public Accountant.
This all happened because he decided to man up and take charge of his life! And I am very proud of him for having done so!
Of course, what one person can do another person can do! Thus, what my son went through is a valuable lesson for all of us. It is important to know what we are called to do with our lives. It is important to know how God has gifted us. And it is important to know how we should use our God-given gifts as we live out our lives.
Granted, we do not always get such things right on the first go around. But if we find ourselves dissatisfied with where life is taking us, we can always change direction. We can always reevaluate our situation and put together a plan to change our lives. It may take a little effort; but if we are willing to make a plan and stick to it, we can always realize the necessary adjustments and enjoy the reward that such a process brings about.
I have a little folder I keep filled with quotes designed to motivate me toward improvements in life. Among these quotes is this one I came across somewhere: “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”
Three years ago, my son Micah came to such a conclusion on his own. And now, his future self is thanking him for that change. What about you? Do you need to undertake some set of changes that your future self will thank you for? If so, what prevents you? Today is the day!
Why not write a note to yourself today and date it for five years from now? Thank yourself for having had the courage to take whatever steps were needed to effect the changes you desired to see transpire. And then read that note every single day while you work toward that goal.
For, as numerous motivational speakers have reminded us, if the Lord tarries His coming, that five year period of time will surely come and go. And at the end of it, you can either be living a whole new life or you can still be living the one you are so dissatisfied with right now. The change is entirely up to you!
So do not be afraid as you work boldly for the realization of this desired future life. For God’s words to us through the Old Testament Prophet Jeremiah (chapter 29, verse 11) are especially meaningful here: “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future!”
Your future! God’s promise! All things are possible; only believe!
MOVIE QUOTE SOURCE: The actual Sahara script quote is here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318649/quotes.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: https://biblehub.com/jeremiah/29-11.htm.