I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work You have given Me to do.
— John 17:4
In 19th century England, after years of hard work, a young man rejoiced after having graduated from Oxford University. Well placed from a family that was well positioned, he had the privilege of meeting with the prime minister, William Gladstone, perhaps the greatest and godliest of all England’s prime ministers.
The young man told Gladstone how he intended to attend law school and become a lawyer.
“Very good, young man. And what then?”
“Then, sir, I hope to practice law here in England for a number of years.”
“That’s fine; and what then?”
“Well, sir, I hope then to stand for Parliament. It is my devout wish that I may be elected to Parliament.”
“That’s just fine, young man. What then?”
“Sir, I hope to serve my country to the best of my ability in Parliament.”
“Very good, young man. What then?”
“Well, sir, I suppose one day I will retire.”
“Yes, and what then?”
“Well, I ah, suppose I’ll die.”
“That’s right … and what then?”
The young man seemed completely befuddled and said, “Well, sir, I really hadn’t thought that far into the future.”
Gladstone, fixing him with his eyes, said, “Young man, you are a fool. Go home and think life through.”
I wonder how many relatives that young man has sitting in our midst today—people who are guilty of the folly of shortsightedness and have never really thought life through.