I would encourage you to read my previous blog on July 11 for a more complete description of what we are doing. In short, you are telling stories about possible futures that might occur for you. By writing them down, they become a more concrete way of exploring possible consequences of decisions you make in your life.

If you began your conversation with your fictional friends by describing your physical and emotional health and the decisions about life style, behavior, and relationships that have led you to this condition in your life, you are exploring consequences. By writing them down in a dialogue with fictional friends, it makes the decisions more real.

You may find it fun to write some alternate possibilities emerging out of different types of decisions.  You could write several scenes and then choose the one you most want to include.


In the previous blog, I suggested that you imagine describing in the year 2025 three major decisions that affected your direction in ministry. You can choose these three or other decisions, but now begin to explain to your fictional friends how these decisions in the last eight years have had significant impact on how your life evolved.

Help them understand why you made these decisions and how the impact of these decisions affected you. You can explore what you now see as bad or even foolish decisions or you can choose to describe wise or clever decisions. Whatever you choose, try to be realistic in terms of the people who surround you and how they would react. Don’t just describe the end results but tell how different people reacted and perhaps why they responded that way.

Let your conversationalists probe  what you say and push you in new directions. Don’t be afraid to consider how some bad decisions might play out as well.


Once you have tried this a couple of times, you might want to invite a couple of good friends to engage in a similar process and then share and talk about your stories. Listening to their stories might stimulate some alternative possibilities for you as well.


Regardless of your age or how long you plan to continue before retirement, I encourage you to at some point also write some possibilities for what you will do in retirement. One scenario might be a retirement party and what they will say about your ministry. Another might be what exciting new life might evolve for you in your retirement. Having been retired now eleven years, I can assure you that there are some very pleasing adventures that can unfold. However, most of our future is the result of our decisions much earlier, so therefore I encourage you to explore those possibilities now and be prepared to take actions that offer positive outcomes.


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