Living Deliberately

Living Deliberately
By Tony Cooke

Every time January rolls around, people begin speculating about what the New Year will bring. One individual said, "My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there." As understandable as that perspective is, Winston Churchill emphasized the importance of maintaining focus on "today" when he said, "It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time." Planning in life is important, but a great future will only be ours if we do the vital and necessary things today!

In his book, "You Can Live a Purposeful Life," James Emery White related a series of questions to help us determine if we’ve considered and identified our core values:

* If I knew that tomorrow would be the last full day of my life, how would I spend the day?
* At the end of my life, what do I want to look back and say I’ve accomplished?
* If a list of adjectives were compiled to describe my life, what words would I like on that list?
* If I were to die tomorrow, what would I want people to remember as my most important achievement?
* Am I investing myself in those things that matter to me?
* Is there any person or cause I would be willing to die for?
* If I were contemplating suicide, what are five reasons for not killing myself?
* What is vitally important to me, what has some importance, and what is a complete waste to me?
* If I were to write a letter to my children about what was most important in my life, what would I tell them?
* If only a single word could be written on my tombstone, what would that word be?

It’s easy to waste time and energy in life worrying about things over which we have no control, instead of focusing on and acting on those very important issues that we do have control over. If you find yourself being tempted this year to be distracted by the many cares of this world, remind yourself of the importance of living deliberately according to the values that are really vital to you.