Who will you be in 2020?  Yesterday I watched a youth video where that question was being presented to teenagers. It struck me as a profound and inspiring question. To measure life in a decade and wonder, dream about who you will be a decade from today.

That question seems to make more sense for teenagers. The world is their oyster. The options, the possibilities about what the next decade could look like for them seem limitless.

The thirties is distinctly different. As one mentor put it,

“Somewhere in my late twenties and early thirties I found myself on a rollercoaster… It was all I could do to just hold on.” 

The demands are intense. Time is the most precious commodity as we learn the hard way to juggle careers, marriage, and kids. How the heck do you find time to ask those big questions when just getting the grass cut or setting up childcare for a date night with your wife feels like summiting Everest?

In the midst of the demands of the decade of the thirties comes another profound shift. Not only are we in a sea of demands, but something of that decade of the twenties  – exploration and discovery – has turned a corner.

Our life matters to others.

Let that reality sink in for a moment. The implications are staggering.

We look back and see that the decade of “exploration and discovery” for most men in their twenties takes a wild switchback turn as we find ourselves waist deep in responsibility and the constant demands to come through for everyone around us.

It sobering at times, intimidating at others. Yet it is the beginning of the greatest treasure hunt of our lives. Somewhere in that shift comes the gold. It is in this crucible that our needs find their way to the surface. It’s not always pretty (in fact it almost never is in my experience) but it sure is clear. We need a Father like never before. We need deep healing in our masculine soul. We need to break agreements with lies that have shaped us since childhood. We need to be set free from battles that are set to take us out.

We need God.

2020. A decade from today. Who do you hope to be? One mentor said to me that

“our perspective on this next decade is one of the most profoundly shaping factors as to what the outcome will be.” 

In other words, what we believe, we will see. What would it look like for you to roll the dice and take a big risk? To put all your cash on this – that the Father’s intention for this decade is to be one of building our character over building a kingdom. That His fierce and loving intention is to take a decade to do serious excavation on the level of the soul. To majorly dismantle that which is false in us. And to establish what is true. What would be at stake to risk spending a decade “under construction”? While other men set out to build kingdoms, we choose to let “us” be built by God… restored… to become men with character, with integrity of heart. Men that can be entrusted with God’s Kingdom and know how to walk in it, in strength, in courage, in love, on behalf of others.

Who do you want to be in 2020?

Make today a 2020 day.

(A note on the excavation picture. I have this picture on my desk and have looked at it every day before I dive into my work for a few years now. For a long time I resented it, as a metaphor about my life. Now I welcome it. There is much I’m clueless about as to what God is up to in my life. But of this I can be sure – he is after the deep excavation of the false in me and the restoration of what is true. It feels at times like I’m moving backwards as I see “skyscrapers” being built on my left and right by peers giving their best energy to building kingdoms. But I have seen too many causalities. Too many good men have been destroyed by their own power and their own kingdoms because they didn’t have the character to walk in the weight of God’s calling for their lives.)