Does it sound selfish---I mean to ask yourself this kind of question: What kind of life do you want to live? Let's talk about this for a few moments today. Do I want my life to be driven by others? Steered by others? Fueled by busyness? Fulfilling lists and obligations? How can we move into living an intentional life ripe with longings fulfilled; living with no regret and challenged by living with a greater purpose than survival?I'm thinking through some categories of how I will answer this question. Categories are really helpful to help me break this question down and really try to answer the question.For example...my health will matter in the answer. I want to be healthy. So learning to choose and make healthy choices will be important in living the life I most want to live. I don't want to die early by making bad and unhealthy choices. So, health will be a category of how I want to live. I want to live in a healthy way will mean that I must eat in healthy ways. I must also choose to invest time in my body to exercise and to move more. So, to answer the question, of what is the life I want to live will mean facing this category straight on and make some adjustments.Here's another category I'm thinking through. I have had many roles in my life. I've been a pastor, author,counselor, spiritual director, husband, father, brother and son. What roles do I want to continue to serve in for my future which is both near and dear. Some of my roles, I need to give up and other roles I will want to assume. I noticed on Facebook that one of my friends changed their title of their Facebook page to Author John Doe. That was interesting to me to look at and figure out if I liked that for myself. I don't--even though I've authored six books now. I'm more than an author. In the life I want to live, what roles are the most important? What roles do I sense a calling--a voice telling me to "Do this...or do that..." What MUST I do with my one and ordinary life is the focus question.Place is another category. Where do I want to live my only life I will ever be given. I settled this question 12 years ago because I decided I wanted to live in the West...where there is drama in the panorama of what I look at. I was tired of heat, humidity and the Bible belt...so with this in mind, we moved. It was costly. We sacrificed family ties and traded them for geographical beauty. Place matters alot to many people. Where do you really WANT to live?Community is an important category. Who do you want to live out your life with in the next 5-10 years? I'm facing this question head on now. In our move to the retreat, we're leaving being spontaneous in calling a friend and saying "Let's meet for dinner." Now, it's an hour drive. It cost gas money now and it takes time to drive down. So, we are thinking our new community will be fostered, developed and nurtured in whole new ways. We will have to re-think some things. We're realized that every relationship that is NOT reciprocal is not a relationship we will choose to invest in for friendship sake. Reciprocal living is one of the greatest Biblical values---all the 5o plue "one another" statements in the Bible only underscores the longing to live life out with a few people who can love and be loved; touch and be touched; celebrate and be celebrated. So this category will force me to re-think what I will do about my groups, my dearest friends and even my church.Family is a category to think through carefully. Who really is our family? I now live 1500 miles from my sons, my mother, my sister and my only brother. Jesus said that "Whoever does the will of my Father is my sister and brother." That's a big statement to ponder. In my case, I have felt ties to family re-ignited. I've wanted to close old gaps. I've wanted old hurts healed. I've wanted the space between me and the ones I loved closed so that their are no longer huge emotional gaps and questions. What other categories would you suggest to think through in fostering the life you most want to live? What have I left out that seems blatantly obvious to you?