Writing the Next Chapter

Last week, I got to check off one of my Bucket List items when I flew out to Colorado with my brother-in-law for a few days of skiing in the Rocky Mountains.  It was an early celebration of my 30th birthday coming up next week.  What an amazing ‘ending’ to my twenties!

This past decade has been an incredible one, and I’m having a difficult time letting it go.  In the my twenties I…graduated from college, married my beautiful wife, got my first job, went to seminary at my dream school, earned a Master’s of Divinity from Duke University, began serving my first appointment as a United Methodist Pastor, became a commissioned UMC minister, celebrated the birth of our first child, and now stand only a few short months away from welcoming our second.  In my twenties, I summited mountains, went on mission trips, and journeyed through three continents.  Old friendships were cemented and new ones grew.  I lost my grandfather, and stumbled through other “valleys.”  I ventured out of boyhood and into manhood.  In short, my twenties took me from being a college student to a father, from a young adult to a real-life grown up complete with a career, family, and a garage full of tools.  What an incredible ten years it’s been!

As I reflect on the past ten years, I also look ahead to the next.  My twenties were filled highs and lows, failures and victories.  What will the next decade hold?  Who do I hope to become?  What do I hope to accomplish?  Will I be prepared for what awaits – the successes and the scares?

In our current sermon series, we are talking about the vision our Church Council spent last year discerning, and we’ve been asking a series of questions: where are we, where are we going, and what’s the plan to get there?  We are talking about these as a church community, but we are also asking ourselves these questions personally: Where am I?  Where am I going?  Do I have a plan to get there?

As I conclude the chapter on my twenties, I look forward to begin writing the next.  I’ll continue reflecting more on those questions, but for now here are a few areas I want to work on during my thirties:

  • I want to be healthier.
  • I want to be more confident.
  • I want to be more like Jesus.
  • I want to be a great father and husband.
  • I want to be a better steward.  Of my time, my energy, my ‘stuff,’ and my abilities, leadership, and influence.

Some stuff to think through more concretely.  I guess I’ve stumbled upon my next writing series!

And how about you?  Where are you today?  In your relationships?  In your faith? Your career?  Where do you want to go; who do you want to be?  And what’s your plan to get there?

I hope you’ll consider joining me these next few weeks and sharing your own goals and plans, whether they are for the next decade, year, or month.

See you next week!


2 thoughts on “Writing the Next Chapter

  1. Looks like you’ll need to update the subtitle of your blog soon. 🙂

    I’ve had the honor of being your friend over this last decade. You have been with me during some of my highest of highs and my lowest of lows. A sign of a true friend. Your commitment to looking at where you’ve been to know where you’re headed is an inspiration to me. This may mean very little coming from someone younger than you, but I’m proud of you Jared.

    Happy (early) birthday!

  2. @Tyler Part of my quarter-life crisis will involve changing my blog and twitter accounts to being a “thirty-something” 8|

    And thank you for your comment. I am SO thankful for our friendship. You mean a lot to me and your opinion carries much weight. You made my day. Thanks TMurph!

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