It seems that there is much transition around me lately. First of all, our family activities have amped up lately. With Jasey taking piano lessons and recently joining the swim team, Josh playing both soccer and fall baseball and then beginning piano lessons, while my wife seems to have taken on a slightly less than full time job as a substitute teacher it seems that our schedules keep us running. There is also much transition in that second “circle” of my life – ministry. As our Sr. Pastor leaves for Moldova for a few weeks and I’m honored to be able to preach in his absence which usually is a great joy. However, this comes during “budget” season at our church, staff review “season” and also during a time when a couple of key ministry partners here are being led somewhere else. And then of course there’s my new commitment of running as I am trying to maintain my personal goals that I’ve set throughout all this.
This is a busy, busy time for me. Unusually busy.
However, when I knelt down in prayer early Monday morning as is my customary practice, God brought me relief in an unusual way during this unusual time. He reminded me of my life calling and goals and then He led me to simply evaluate each “circle” that makes up my life and see how they are measuring up. This is a glimpse of that renewing prayer time:
Life Purpose Statement:
“To seek and savor the glory of God in all I do and then labor to make known His majesty in all things, so that when I see Christ, I might hear Him say, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant’, and then know in that moment that I did not waste my life.”
I seek to measure all three areas of my life by this one driven purpose. That evaluation process looks a little like this:
PERSONAL (private life): To love God with…
- All my heart (Am I giving my affections wildly to something/someone other than the One who truly sastisfies?)
- All my mind (Am I stretching myself intellectually? Learning, developing, thinking rightly?)
- All my strength (Am I being a good steward with exercise, sleep, diet, and giving Him my best hours?)
- All my soul (Am I fighting to live out the righteous life that Christ already declared for me?)
RELATIONAL (public life): To love my neighbor…
- Loving my parents
- Loving my siblings
- Loving my wife
- Loving my children
- Loving my church
- Loving my community and world
VOCATIONAL (serving life): Love my neighbor by shepherding His people by…
- Preaching well
- Writing well
- Leading well
- Praying well
This looks overwhelming – but in reality I’m already connected with all these responsibilities any way. This process actually brings me much relief as I measure the success of these areas in regards to the above purpose statement. I’m going to withhold from the reading public just how I evaluated myself in all these areas but let me just mentioned that I’ve been humbled through this process :). Yet, I have greater peace and joy knowing the purpose of the busy-ness and that God is working in, and through me. I’m so thankful that He continues to flood me with His grace.
So… during this unusual time I aim at the usual target – His glory experienced and His majesty spread for the my joy and the joy of all peoples!
(all of this is driven through and by the gift of God’s word applied to my life. If interested, these are the passages that help form the above “aims”, etc.: Psalm 16:11; Mark 12; Philippians 3; Ephesians 1-2; Hebrews 12; Luke 24; Colossians 1:24-2:3; I Timothy 4; 2 Corinthians 5; and of course, Romans 8 and 12)