Read Proverbs 28
Have you ever played chess before? I love chess and I would like to play it more often than I do. I remember as a kid watching the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer and being enamored by the art of speed chess. The ability of these people to make decisions so quickly while thinking a number of moves ahead is very impressive to me. The first time I played chess I lost, but I was proud that I saw the loss coming moves before it actually happened. I often find myself wondering how society would change if more people played chess. If it was commonplace to play a game in which you had to think moves ahead, would we better plan for and build toward the future?
Today’s Proverb talks about playing the long game, a lost art form in today’s society. Most people these days want immediate results from the work they put in today. The concept of sacrificing something you want now for a better reward later is a difficult one to sell, and something that stood out to me in this Proverb.
Work your garden—you’ll end up with plenty of food;
play and party—you’ll end up with an empty plate.
Committed and persistent work pays off;
get-rich-quick schemes are ripoffs.
Playing favorites is always a bad thing;
you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways.
A miser in a hurry to get rich
doesn’t know that he’ll end up broke.
This self-control and planning is something that I’ve been working to practice in my own life. My current living situation is okay, I’m not in a bad spot by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m living far below where I could be living because I’m saving for the future. I want a beautiful house that I can share with friends and family, I want a flourishing business that helps millions of people, and I want a voice that influences nations. I have God-sized dreams and big desires, but I have to wait for them. I have to put in the work right now so that I can reap the rewards in the future. Without this preparation time, I wouldn’t be ready when an opportunity presented itself.
What do you want to achieve in your life? And what are you doing today to get yourself there?
If you want to travel or be more generous, it might look like eating out less so that you can spend more later. If you want to run a Fortune 500 company or a successful small business, it might look like learning from the greats about business. If you want to have a lasting marriage, it could look like learning from those currently in healthy relationships.
When you know what you want in the future, it’s easier to sacrifice today.
I’m not a fan of making sweeping declarations or rash changes. I’m one for small, manageable steps. I like baby steps. I like putting one foot in front of the other. I like being intentional with the little things today, so that we can reap large rewards later. I want to encourage you to start small today. You might be no where near your dream and that’s okay. I encourage you to pray and then take a step. Then tomorrow, repeat the process. Little by little, through diligent work everyday, you will reach your goals. Let’s sacrifice today so that we can soar tomorrow.