I still remember the first day of seminary, 11 years ago. I learned a big lesson on that first day, as we were handed a syllabus of what the class was going to be like and what the assignments were going to be. For one of my theology classes we had to read 8 books cover to cover. Some of them were 700 – 800 pages long. Let me add that these were not exciting books to read either. Many were theology books written in the early 1900 English and style, no car crashes or plots that thicken, just pages of theories and suppositions – all interesting but very boring. But what I noticed is that when the professor was ready to discuss these books a week or so later, quite a few people in the class were really, actually, ready to discuss what they had read. How could they have read all those books in a week and kept up with their other classes?
I quickly found out, that they had gone to the professor the semester before, got the syllabus and spent the whole summer reading. I on the other hand, came to the first day of class thinking – it really was the first day of class. Which means on the first day of class I was already a summer behind. What a lesson learned.
It is a lesson that I have incorporated into my personal and married life too. I used to wait until January 1st, or if I was really ahead of the game the week between Christmas and New Year’s to think about my personal goals and planning for the upcoming year. But to really enact a good plan for 2013, you might want to get started now – at least a plan for the first half of the year. We really should of started back in June, but here we are, so let’s get started today.
By thinking a little further ahead you ease that September to December feeling of – I can’t believe the year is almost over and the inevitable question, “Where did the year go?”. This year, let’s get a jump on our time and be ready to enact God’s plan for our marriage and life on January 1st.
- Plan. Set aside time to talk together – where are we going, what do we want to accomplish this year, what about the kids, where are we going for vacation and what do we need to do to make all of this happen and what can we do, daily to get there?
- Make sure your goals are measurable. In two months we want to have saved $ ____dollars. On a weekly basis we want to spend ___ hours together.
- Read books. If you want to learn something new, or take on a new challenge, are there books that the two of you can read together to educate your plans.
- Six Month Checkup. Meet systematically to refresh and tighten up the plan. But always be ahead of the game and looking down the road.
So let’s get to work in 2012 and set our marriage up for major growth in 2013. Spend some time today, meditating and discussing the words of Habakkuk 2:2-3:
Then the Lord answered me and said, “Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. 3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.