What do you do when everything you know and knew, suddenly goes out the door, and your season changes?
For over three and a half years now I have been responsible for the discipleship of hundreds of young adults, as the Young Adults Pastor at Discovery Church.
It has been one of the most challenging and rewarding seasons of my life.
I have traveled, I have preached, I have laughed, and I have cried. I have loved, I have been humbled, I have been slandered, I have been praised, I have been taken advantage of, and have been appreciated. I have sat through meetings I did not understand, and I have participated in meetings that have changed my life. I have had 38 hour weeks, and I have also had 70+ hour weeks. I have met more people than I can remember and I have prayed for more people than I could know. I have baptized, and I have buried. I have been with people at their most broken times, and have had the privilege of seeing people when they are most whole. I have been out nearly every night of nearly every week, and I have had days of rest. I have said “enough is enough”, and then I have pushed on anyway.
I have completed this stage of my race.
It has been one of the best seasons of my life!, all glory to God!
But now, it is over.
On Sunday I preached my last sermon at our church. (I managed to get my final sentence out before rushing off the platform and bursting into tears.) I walked out the doors, went home, and realized my life would never be the same again.
Now I am in transition from one season to the next.
And it is hard.
I keep checking my emails, but there are no emails for me.
I keep thinking of sermons to preach, but I’m not preaching for weeks.
I’m looking forward to going into the office and seeing all my friends, but there is some one else at my desk and I don’t have an office anymore (although I still have friends!).
My season has changed.
Soon I will have a new office, new friends, and I will be in a new season. But for now, things are slow, and I have a lot of time to think.
So what am I learning at this time, and what advice do I have for you?
Just two things for now.
1. Keep your eyes on the prize.
The aim of life is to bring Glory to God. Whether you do this through a ministry role or by loving your wife, through working at a school, or by having your neighbors over for dinner, what matters is that you do it. I’ve realized that once you strip all the busyness away, and even the feeling of significance that busyness and people can bring, all you have left is your relationship with God. When you die one day, how many emails you received and how many social network friends you had may mean nothing. What will matter is whether or not Christ was first in your life, and what you did with the gift of salvation He offers. I once heard a saying- “the day after the battle is more important than the day of the battle”. Keep your eyes on the prize.What’s the point of winning a battle / finishing one season well, and then get slaughtered. You can be as wise as Solomon, but if you finish in foolishness, what was the point? No, the aim is to finish the entire race well, to finish life well, and life is made up of seasons. Embrace each of them, and conquer them with your eyes on the prize. (I’ll add, that the only way to do seasons and this life well, is by God’s grace.) Keep the main thing, the main thing. Keep your eyes on Christ, and though seasons may change, He will not.
2. Live for an audience of one.
The only thing that matters, is Jesus. You can get a thousand comments on your status, but what would He comment? You can get a pay rise, and you can get a promotion, but if you don’t get to walk the streets of gold for eternity, what is the point? You can impress the masses, but if He doesn’t say “well done” at the end of your life, you may as well have lived for nothing. Live for an audience of one, God. Nothing else compares or really matters, if it’s not for Him. I don’t say this to condemn, I say this to bring hope. If you don’t know Him or have walked away, the Bible says that He stands at the door of your heart and is knocking, if you will open the door, He will come in! Fix and keep your eyes on Jesus.
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ”- Philippians 3:8
So, what is next for me?
By God’s grace, I will Pastor again, I will study, I will travel, and I will preach. (Read more about our next season at- www.thescarboroughs.com/news)
However, if none of these things were to happen again, I would be okay with it, if that is what God has for me.
Why? Because my eyes are on the prize and I’m living (by God’s grace), for an audience of One.
What do you need to do today, so that if everything were to change tomorrow, you would be okay?
By God’s grace… Do it.