Billy Graham and the One Thousand Years Plan

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Recently, I was adding up how many years are still left until my kids finish school and I was surprised to find out that in ten years they will both have finished high school. Maybe ten years is a lot of time for you and I used to think it was for me, but now, after having added a few decades to my lifetime, ten years has a very different meaning, way shorter than before.

Ten years are still ten years, the only thing that changed is my perspective. An hour waiting for a car maintenance procedure feels like forever, and yet a lunch break from work feels way too short. It all depends on how you feel about that moment in time.

They say every important decision must be considered against its impact for today, five years and ten years from now. Short, medium and long-term implications. Do you buy a new car with borrowed money or do you save money while using the old one? Do you make time for exercise today or do you deal with the consequences later? Do you take job offer A or B?

Some decisions make no difference to you in five or ten years, while others can completely change the course of your life. That is what turns decision making into a confusing and overwhelming task because nobody can clearly see what the next five or ten years will look like.

While considering pending decisions in my life that will have a long-term impact, it occurred to me that my perspective for decision making is all wrong. What really matters is the impact of my decisions in one thousand years from now. Talk about long term!

From a Christian perspective, I believe that the reality of one thousand years from now is not an abstract idea, it is a future that will come, a day as real as yesterday was. When you start using this mindset, you may actually realize that when your decisions are weighted against one thousand years they become easier to make, not more complicated. Especially, if you depend completely on the only book that can tell you what will happen in one thousand years.

One thousand years from now, when you look back on this day, this morning, this hour in your life, what will have really mattered? What is the best use of your time, resources, and energy?

There are only three things that last forever: people, God, and his word. Everything else you have purchased, stored or worked for, will probably be gone in one thousand years. The old car, the new car, the fit body, the old body, job A, job B, all gone. Doesn’t that make it easier to decide? Doesn’t it take the burden away to make the perfect decision for the next five or ten years? 

Billy Graham is remembered today for the one thousand years decisions he made, looking forward to the things that last forever.

He invested in people, God, and his word. What would have happened if he had not made one thousand years decisions? We are glad he did.