Have you ever met that one person who cannot see past the next ten minutes of the day? Everything is dramatic and the world is always coming to an end. Oh wait! We all know teenagers! Sadly, many adults live this way too.
As Christians, God calls us to be big picture people. That doesn’t mean that we have everything planned out to the letter for the next twenty years of our lives (read the dangers of this in James 4), but it does mean thinking of more than the moment. I think you could make a valid case that all successful individuals practice big picture perspective.
When people with big picture perspective encounter choices, crisis, opportunities, and struggles they stop for a minute to think. Before making any decisions they think, “What consequences good or bad could come from how I handle this situation?” Teenagers are notorious for rushing headlong into situations without a moments thought.
For example, if Andrew wants to get a tattoo he should stop and ask himself a few questions. Will I still want this tattoo when I 30+? Is my chosen location for the tattoo appropriate for my future career choice? *Side Note: I know some churches and other ministry employers that will not hire if you have a tattoo at all let alone if you have one on your face!* But many people don’t stop to give these questions and others any consideration.
This lack of big picture perspective has corroded so many things in our lives. Our rash decisions from the past are haunting us now. We regret the people we’ve dated, the jobs we’ve taken, or the places we have lived. Yes, God uses these choices to help us to learn and to influence the person we have become, but just think of the pain and regret that could have been avoided with just a little bit of thought!
Take 5 minutes today and think about how the decisions you are making could be affecting your future. You might be surprised at what you discover!