Time Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
(by Adam Wormann)
It’s New Year’s, probably the time during the year where we’re most aware of time (well, that and April 15th, tax day in the U.S.). For most people, it’s the time they reflect on their life the most, both the past and the future.
In Philippians 1:7, Paul talks about the past. Actually, he talks about his achievements in the past and talks about how now, they mean nothing compared to knowing Christ.
Paul is a guy that needed to know how to distance himself from the past. The things he thought he was doing well, were really counter to what God wanted. Even his standing and accomplishments had to be put aside. We’d probably do well to learn from Paul’s example. From reading people’s posts on Facebook, it seems like just about everyone had a terrible year and wants to see 2010 go. We need to do that. We can look at the past and celebrate victories, mourn what needs to be mourned, forgive what needs to be forgiven, and move on. The past is gone and we can’t sit and live there. The harder we hold on to the past, the harder it is for us to live now. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s not where we are. Let’s embrace 2011.
On the other side of the coin, are those who look way ahead toward the future, and live so much there, that they forget where we are now. James makes it clear that we’re not promised the future. We may have it, we may not. In James 4, he talks of people who arrogantly plan for tomorrow. It’s a question of attitude. The key is humility and submission to God.
In “The Present Future”, Reggie McNeal talks about planning vs. preparing. It’s probably just semantics, but it raises a great point. Planning says “this is what I’m going to do.” I don’t think we intend to be arrogant, but in the way we plan, it honestly often is. It’s putting ourselves and our plans at the forefront. Preparing on the other hand says “This is what I believe the future will look like, so I’ll get ready for it.” It’s more flexible. It doesn’t say “this is my course,” but “this is God’s course, and I’m jumping on the train wherever it takes me.” Preparing takes the Biblical wisdom of getting ready for the future and not being caught off guard, while still having a humble attitude of flexibility.
In the end, what we have is now. We don’t have tomorrow guaranteed, and the past is behind us. What are you doing today that’s going to make an impact for Christ and his kingdom?
Adam Wormann is a Youth Pastor at Sayre Woods Bible Church in Old Bridge, NJ where he’s been serving for the past 8 years. He is also one of the mentors at Life in Student Ministry and the editor of the “Time Out” series. You can stalk him on Twitter and Facebook.
Posted on January 3, 2011