365 possibilities in the next year!

"365 possibilities in 2000 and ?" is the heading of a promotional from my internet provider!  But as I reflected on the idea of "365 possibilities" I thought, "OK, 365 days yet within every day there is an almost infinite array of possibilities."

On Australia Day, 26th January,  I completed a reference for a person intending to go to Thailand on a short term mission.  On his form was the question:  "What are your immediate goals, where do you want to be in five years, in ten years?"  He laughed an exclaimed:  "How on earth do I answer that?  I'm in the second year of a four year degree program.  Why, ten years is half my life and they want to know what it is I want to do/be in ten years?  Man, I don't know.  How am I supposed to know that?"  The possibilities seem endless but at the same time almost unreal.

Today I sat with Harry [not his real name], whose prognosis is very challenging.  Living with cancer, an unwanted guest in his body, indicates the range of possibilities for Harry may not extend to 365 days.  But on the other hand the possibilities for Harry may stretch way beyond 365 days.

Jelena Dokic has shown that what she imagined maybe possible at The Australian Open Tennis Tournament was way below what was accomplished.  On the other hand the defeat of the Australian Cricket Test Team  and 50 Over Australian Cricket Team leaves them dreaming about what may have been possible.  What are their future possibilities?  Who knows?  There are hundreds of factors underlying their future possibilities.

Based on Psalm 90:10-17 and a life expectancy of 80 years I was asked to write down my age and multiply it by 365.  Then subtract my age from 80 and multiply that number by 365 then subtract the total of days from the first total of possible life-time days.  This gives the supposed number of probable days to live.  The difference between the two results is frightening!

Covey in 7 Habits Organizer suggests that to manage the possibilities and maintain a life balance we each need to have a wide-angle view of life [yearly], a normal view [weekly], and a close up view [daily].  I would add a short-sighted view [5 years] and a long-sighted view [10 years].

To integrate Psalm 90:10-17 into our life's portfolio we need to build an entire life plan so that possibilities become realities.  “We can expect seventy years, or maybe eighty, if we are healthy, but even our best years bring trouble and sorrow.  Suddenly our time is up, and we disappear. . . So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” Psalms 90:10, 12.

This requires seven priorities: 

  • (1)  Recognition of reason - seeing why you exist, your purpose.  
  • (2)  Evaluation of experience - assessing where you are, your story. 
  • (3)  Identification of uniqueness - understanding who you are, your abilities, gifts, heritage. 
  • (4)  Definition of identities - determining where you fit, your roles and responsibilities. 
  • (5)  Maximization of resources - using what you have, your education, opportunities, and Life-Work.
  • (6)  Integration of priorities - knowing where you are going, your Life-Plan. 
  • (7)  Acquisition of wisdom, living what you have learned and planned as a christian, your Life-Long Pursuit of God's call on your life.

[These 7 priorities are adapted from:  Leadership 2025:  Building Leaders for the Next Generation.]

Dr Keith Graham

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