‘Make No Little Plans’

My 13-year-old son and I spent a wonderful weekend in Chicago recently, kayaking through the urban jungle on the Chicago River, taking in much of what the Museum of Science and Industry has to offer, enjoying some real pizza, and soaking in the view along the city’s iconic Lake Shore Drive.

Among the many things I love about our family’s former hometown is the city’s beautiful park-lined lakefront. It was an important part of urban planner Daniel Burnham’s vision and is today one of his greatest legacies. It brings to life one of his most famous quotes: “Make no little plans.”

Making no little financial plans

Since I can’t help but look for the money-related implications in much of what I experience, our visit to Chicago made me think about the importance of vision and what legacy will be left by the financial decisions we’re all making.

Do you live by a vision that guides your use of money? Two examples from my own life come to mind.

Early in our relationship, my wife and I developed a shared vision that if we were blessed with kids we’d like for her to be able to stay home with them. We arranged our finances accordingly, living primarily on one income when we both worked outside the home so that it would be easier to live on one if and when we had kids. I’ve seen countless benefits that have come from that decision. It’s one we will never regret.

The other major example has to do with my career path. When I worked in corporate America, I had a good job that paid well and provided other nice benefits. After a few years, though, there were many days when I walked into the building imagining myself looking down on the scene and wondering, “Who is that guy?” The work I did day in and day out didn’t seem all that meaningful. I sensed God encouraging me to take the lessons learned from my financial crash and burn and make them my life’s work.

So, bathed in prayer, with Jude’s full support, with the input of some trusted mentors, and with 18 months’ worth of living expenses in the bank, one day with everything going as well as it possibly could, I quit in order to begin writing and speaking about biblical money management full-time.

Since then, there have been some seasons that were more challenging than I could possibly explain, some more growing I had to do, but I live with the sense that I’m doing what God put me here to do.

The clock is ticking

One of the most common regrets of the elderly is that they didn’t take more risks.

For all sad words of tongue or pen,

The saddest are these: ‘It might have been.’ – John Greenleaf Whittier

Is there some vision that you sense God has put on your heart? Are there nights you can’t sleep because you’re thinking of it? If that vision has some staying power—and if you’re married, if it’s something your spouse can support—why not get about pursuing it?

While there are certainly no guarantees, for most of us, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll be here on July 11, 2018, and July 11, 2019, and, God willing, beyond. The days will roll on whether we pursue the vision God has put on our hearts or not. My encouragement to all of us is to not grow old wondering what might have been.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21

Has God put a vision on your heart? What is it? And what, if anything, would you have to do differently financially in order to start pursuing it?

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