As football season comes to an end, at least on the collegiate level, it is the perfect time to look back and think of what might have been. After years of a dumpster fire of a football program at the University of Arkansas, I was ecstatic to celebrate an eight-win season. The victories over Texas A&M, Texas, LSU, and, (apologies to my fellow Missourians) MIZZOU were especially sweet.
However, consider what might have been. We would have had nine wins if it were not our year to play Georgia and instead got Vanderbilt (or anybody else in the East). Then if we had run the ball on a two-point conversion against Ole Miss, instead of rolling to the right and attempting a pass, we could have had ten wins.
Suppose momentum from those additional wins led to an Auburn victory for eleven wins. Then consider if the door of the Alabama locker room gotten stuck and their team never made it to the field. Well, there you have an undefeated season and a spot in the college football playoffs!
Ok, a few of those outcomes are less likely than the others, but I assure you, it could have turned out differently! The same is true at many points in our lives. Suppose you took that job in computer programming rather than typewriter repair. Suppose you had invested in Bitcoin in 2011 or 2013 instead of Sears. Perhaps you should have purchased the property on the edge of town instead of a laserdisc manufacturer…
Whatever the choices you have made one thing is certain. You have been financially supporting your family, your local church and any number of other ministries for many years. What happens when Jesus promotes you to heaven? Will your loss be felt emotionally and financially? Will your family members and the ministry you have served suffer a double loss? Unfortunately, the double loss is something I see often and it breaks my heart.
It does not have to be this way! It can turn out differently! There are many ways to avoid the double loss. I would like to take a moment to discuss perhaps the most underrated and easiest tool. Consider setting up a Donor Advised Fund (DAF, for short).
A DAF allows you to contribute however much and whenever you wish*, receive a tax benefit and distribute those funds to family members and/or ministries in the future. Best of all, after your eventual heavenly promotion, the Donor Advised Fund can be converted to an endowment that will continue to support the ministries you love.
We can work out the details later; what matters most is that you do something now to avoid regret. There are a few more days before the end of the year. You need to do something now. Do your research on Advised Donor Funds. Call your tax professional. You could event reach out to us at The Missouri Baptist Foundation. We manage many Donors Advised Funds and would love help you understand all your options.
Most importantly, God has given you control of your money, for now. Don’t leave regrets about what you could have done for family, your church or the ministry you love. Do something today. Next year is a new season, in football and in life.
*(Now, there are some limits to the types of contributions you can make and the total amounts, but these often don’t apply for most people. We would love to share more details, or you can reach out to your tax professional.)