Follow Your Dreams
Everyone has a dream inside. At least once in your lifetime, you will have an opportunity to throw caution to the wind, take a big risk, break free, and follow your dream. You can ignore your dreams and play it safe. It is often easier to anchor your feet on the ground and do all the right things. But the cost of doing so is living a life of “quiet desperation,” wondering if maybe you gave up the only thing that really mattered. Sound familiar? I’ll bet this agonizing dialogue has run through your head sometime in your life: Should I follow my heart now? Or play it safe and build a long-term nest egg in hopes of a comfortable retirement?
I’ve been down this road countless times with clients and prospective clients who are contemplating retirement. This is a decision most people face at some point; some even agonize over it throughout their lives. Unfortunately, most conventional retirement-planning wisdom is likely to be your worst enemy in making these kinds of decisions. The ultimate mirage: Wait until retirement; then you’ll be free. Why wait?
I often question the assumption that you have to wait until retirement to be free. When you place trust in God and His direction, you often ignore traditional wisdom because God is often unpredictable. I challenge America’s constant obsession with retirement and planning for the future. That obsession should never substitute for living your dreams today. Never! Don’t get me wrong. I believe planning is necessary, but there needs to be a balance between living today and preparing for the future. When do you risk all on a spin of the roulette wheel of life? When do you risk your retirement savings now to chase a dream?
To Play It Safe Means Nobody Wins!
It can be a big mistake to sacrifice following your dream in order to “play it safe” and follow the conventional road, building a retirement nest egg and hoping somehow your drudgery today will pay off in a “comfortable” retirement. Where is the balance between conventional financial wisdom and people listening for God’s distinct and unique call in their lives? Having your only emphasis on your retirement “needs” and “staying the course” financially might block you from hearing/heeding the voice of the Lord to do something different in your unique situation.
You may have noticed that God doesn’t always follow the “conventional wisdom” in how He chooses to operate. This balance between focusing on the long-term via the conventional investing wisdom from traditional Wall Street firms and staying flexible to the leading of God in your unique situation can be tough, and it’s something for every faith-based investor to prayerfully keep an eye on. God knows that for many of us, money will be the chief competitor for our affections. Do you trust Him? Will you give up your financial security to see what you can do for Him? I suspect there are some of you reading this right now who may be facing a similar fork in the road. If you are, forget what you’ve read about the need to save for retirement! If God opens the window for you, He may also require you to put your financial security on the line to follow that godly dream you’re harboring.