In a couple of months, I will turn 68. I knew this time would eventually come, but it always seemed like it was a place in my distant future. Many times now, I am the older pastor in the room with other leaders. I have become a father in the faith. This future literally sneaks up on a person. It arrives in the middle of our assumptions of being forever young, at least in thought.
Jan and I realize this is the best time in our lives because we have brought with us our experience, our blessings, and a hope for more. None of this has been without the cost of struggling with our common humanity and our need to self-protect. We weathered these struggles with God and came out the other side still remaining useful for His purposes.
At this place in our lives, Jan and I are speaking most weekends in a different venue by invitation. We don’t advertise or make cold calls suggesting, “We have an open Sunday in June.” It simply happens through relationship. Jan and I continue to author books and mentor the willing. We are in that place leadership theorists describe as convergence. All our time and investment in life is coming together and moving with us as we step deeper into our calling.
Your path may not resemble ours, but in your place of Kingdom assignment – whether a plumber, painter, policeman or whatever, you have learned valuable lessons others want to glean from your experience. All of these lessons and life-experiences will arrive with you in your future. They are to be shared with others as the fulfillment of your calling on Earth.
From the future, I want to speak to some of you who are behind me in chronological years. This can be a wonderful place when you get here, not because you arrive through any sense of personal perfection or thinking you have it all together. You arrive in this place of goodness having learned valuable lessons – all learned through the challenge of your own weaknesses and faulty assumptions.
Here are a few things I have learned and continue to learn:
Always choose to forgive.
Confront the lies that masquerade as truth.
Embrace your failures for in them is hidden your success.
Continue to expand your thinking – you know less than you realize.
God is good – always.
Rest is both a weapon and a refuge.
Believe the best.
I want to welcome you to your future. It is a place filled with more goodness than you could ever imagine. To see this goodness and taste its sweet fruit, you will need to continue trusting in God no matter what crosses your path. Trust is the vehicle God will use to deliver you into a happy and healthy future.
Those of us who have gone ahead of you are waiting in your future for your arrival to celebrate with you what you thought was impossible. With God, nothing is ever impossible if you continue to trust Him with each step on this journey called Life.