Life moves so quickly. Sometimes, you forget important things. Like updating your blog on a weekly basis!
Lessons from the past.
When I was a teenager, I loved to skateboard. Every spare second of my life was committed to being outside, sliding down handrails, jumping over stairs, and performing some amazing tricks. Now, in my mid 40’s I could never imagine riding (or falling) like I did back in my teens. Just recently, one of my favorite skateboard companies from the early 90’s made a return, and with it brought a flood of great memories. It made me think about how much fun that time in my life was, and how amazing it would be if somehow, I could go back there again. I began to think about buying a new skateboard, and how much fun that would be. Fortunately, Jodie reminded me how old I was, and brought me back to earth quickly.
Lots of times we look back at the past, and believe that those were the best years of our lives.
I think that happens in the church a lot. We get stuck in a difficult season, and think back to how good the old days were, believing that if we could go back (like I did with my skateboard dreams) that everything would be better.
There is no doubt that the church of yesteryear was an amazing thing. If you are like me, you can remember how much the atmosphere in your home church impacted you. How the smell of the church dinner cooking caught your nose. How the sounds of the older gospel songs, pulled you in, and made you feel like Jesus was right there!! And the Christmas Eve service was so magical. It made you feel like home.
Don’t loose sight of the main thing.
One of the important things I have learned over the last few years is this. The past was an amazing time, but so is the future!
“Our memories must never get bigger or more precious to us than our vision for the future.”
Dr Garrison’s quote is spot on. Although the things that we have experienced in the past were amazing, We cannot as followers of Jesus allow ourselves to get stuck there! My skateboard memories were so much fun, but that is not what God is doing in my life right now.
God continues to give us (the church) vision for the future. His plan for what is going to happen next, and how he will use us to accomplish that, is so much bigger and more exciting than anything we have experienced so far. We just have to be open to receive it, and be ready to move forward when he says go!
Remember those examples that we listed above of how the church of yesteryear made us feel? all those sounds, smells and everything else?? Well recently, God has been teaching our church family to be more focused on reaching our community for Jesus. To put the things of the past behind us, and impact our community in any way we can. The results have been amazing!
So, lets do it.
I encourage you to ask the Lord what his plans are for you and your church over the next 5-10 years. Ask him to help you mold a place where the next generation of believers can make memories. A place that feels like home.
Don’t be afraid. Letting go is hard, but take it from me. It’s worth it.
I really enjoy watching the old skateboarding videos, and imagining myself out there riding once again. But I also realize that as amazing as that time was, God has something bigger for me to do now. And I’m excited to be part of that. I’ll continue to look back with fondness and remember how that time on the skateboard molded me in to who I am today.
Will you join me?
Let’s let the past go, and embrace the future that the Lord has laid out before us.
What do you think?
Till next time,