Recently, Trudi and I hosted six of my current college students for dinner. (Note: as is our custom, we invited all my current students, but this time only six came). In addition to those six were my wife, Trudi, and my daughter, Grace. The nine of us had a great time together, and a wonderful conversation.

Whenever we have students to dinner, we wait until dessert to get serious, but we always ask a thought-provoking question while enjoying dessert (snickerdoodle and cream-cheese bars on a graham-cracker crust – yummy – are you getting jealous?).

Our question for this particular evening was: What kind of person do you hope to be in twenty years?

Now, some of those at the table talked about their life goals in addition to character qualities, but everyone responded with some sort of character-quality that they hoped would characterize their life in twenty years. Following is at least one thought-provoking excerpt from each person at the table.

“Twenty years from now I want to be a man who is leading and loving my family well, even while I’m pastoring a church somewhere.”
“Twenty years from now I hope to be a person who lives life in ongoing dependence on the Lord, rather than depending on myself.”
“Twenty years from now I want to be rid of the sense that I need to control things. That’s something I am hoping to relinquish entirely to the Lord.”
“Twenty years from now, I hope to have bonded and developed authentic relationships with the people that I’m serving on whatever mission field God sends me.”
“Twenty years from now, I hope still to be willing to take God-honoring risks.”
“Twenty years from now, I want to be generous with whatever money God gives me.”
“Twenty years from now, I want to maintain my passion for God while growing in wisdom.”
“Twenty years from now, I hope to be helping people think biblically about politics and other cultural issues.”
“Twenty years from now, I want to be a mom who is guiding my children into faithfully loving the Lord and others.”
“Twenty years from now, I hope that wherever in the world God has led me, that I am doing whatever I do out of love for the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Twenty years from now, I hope to be reaching out to needy young people in the drug- and gang-infested neighborhoods of the city where I grew up.”

Now you know why Trudi and I love hanging out with college students.

What do you hope might characterize your life in 20 years?

This post was originally featured on Kindle Afresh: The Blog and Website of Kenneth Berding.