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You + 10= ____

My brother just crossed the Rubicon called your 40th birthday (sorry to rat you out bro but dang you are getting old)! Anyways, his wife asked those closest to him to write a letter that she would then present to him on the big day. I decided to write mine from the perspective of what I hope is true in 10 years. It was a very sobering exercise for a lot of reasons. One of which was that it forced me to think about what I wanted to be true of me at the end of the next decade.

It’s strange to think of one’s life in such terms! 

After all, God in his wisdom and grace typically grants us less decades than the number of fingers we have on our hands. So, if you only get seven or eight of them, why not think in terms of who we are becoming and what we desire to be with the passing of each decade? 

Edmund Burke once wrote about a friend who had died, “His virtues were his arts.” In other words, the life lived, the breathes taken, the decisions made, the friendships cultivated and the time invested, all served as paint strokes that one day caused a friend to conclude that his life was a virtuous masterpiece. 

Therefore, in honor of my brother and Edmund Burke, I’ve outlined what I hope is true of myself in 10 years

  1. I hope I have a reputation for always choosing love… because I am aware daily that love has chosen me.
  2. I hope that I remain whimsical and childlike, seeing and feeling the joy in each sunrise and truly believing that all things are possible.
  3. I hope my wife and I still wink at each other from across the room, laugh until we snort, and hold hands every day.
  4. I hope my kids see Jesus in my life and are following him, loving him, and sharing his good news.
  5. I hope that my daughters will still grant the occasional ‘daddy-date’ and my son still looks forward to ‘guy time.’
  6. I hope I have a handful of friends and people I serve alongside who, prayerfully, are blessed to have me in their life. In other words, I hope I am the type of friend who contributes more than he receives, who seeks to bless more than be blessed, and who is more concerned with building up rather than being built up.
  7. I hope that the SLU journey has accomplished exponentially more than we ever asked or even imagined God would do!
  8. I hope I still find joy in getting lost in an idea. I love the thrill of spending days trying to paint thoughts with words and continue to get that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach when opening a box to see the final product of a book written.
  9. I hope that I have learned how to truly make rest a part of my rhythm, and thus, live life with a full tank of gas.
  10. I hope I truly believe that the best is yet to come.

The next ten years, barring something unforeseen, are going to happen. In fact, let’s pretend that God is giving you a decade right here and now. 

What does YOU + 10 = _______

The future is a canvas where God’s grace offers you the opportunity to paint a masterpiece! YOU + 10 is a very powerful concept when processed through the lens of God’s blessing and desires. I hope you will take a moment to answer the question for yourself and then lay the list at the feet of Jesus. And I hope that above all else it could be said of the next ten years, “Your virtues were your arts.” 


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