“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
- 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 NIV
I turn 55 today... hard for me to believe but yep, 55
I know, some of you are thinking, “Ah, you’re still just a pup”and others are thinking, “Dude... I didn’t realize you were so old.” Well, 55 is not as bad (nor as old) as I once thought it was.
As you know, I tend to take some time, from time to time, to get by myself, get quiet and pray. Usually the time is spent on a secluded part of a beach somewhere - just God and me and his creation. However this time my “by myself time” will be this afternoon sitting by one of Tallahassee’s great lakes. It’ll be for a short period of time, but by myself nonetheless, soaking in God’s creation and praying - with worship music in my ears and a notebook, a pen and Bible by my side. For some reason, I feel closest to Him when I’m seeking Him near the water (or on a mountain somewhere). Though it’s not the sugar white beach and the Gulf of Mexico nor a mountain top in North Carolina, God’s imagination and creativity are still quite evident and awesome to behold at the lake at the end of a dead-end road.
The following are a few lessons that I continue to learn and have come to better understand over the past 55 years:
One - There is power in the name of Jesus- This is easy to overlook and over think. There is power in prayer. But more than that, “the true power is in the name of Jesus”. I was reminded of that again a few years ago when a friend related a story about a conversation that his father once had with Corrie ten Boom about prayer and the name of Jesus.
Two - One person... one man... one woman can make a difference.One person can effectively change the world. If you don’t think so or are not sure about all that, check out the lives of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ghandi, Corrie ten Boom, Billy Graham, Billy Sunday, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, John Wesley, The Apostle Paul, and ultimately, Jesus, the Son of the Living God.
Three - “We are saved by faith, not by growing fruit; but we are not saved by fruitless faith. A person saved by faith will be a person in whom the fruit of the Spirit grows....”- Timothy Keller
Four - When Jesus called disciplesto “follow me”He did not tell them where they were going. It is not about clarity of where we are going but confidence about where Jesus is leading... knowing God will be there.
* Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
* Proverbs 3:5-6 says this, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.
Five - Though a man’s work is important, there is more to life than just work and the pursuit of money, power, position, etc.
Six - Placement and Position are important
* What is God’s position and placement in my life?
* Where does God fit in order of importance and value in my life?
* What would my family say?
* What does my calendar say?
* What does my wallet say?
Seven - There is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is based on circumstances. Joy is found in knowing that God is faithful and will work things for His good despite your circumstances. Joy comes in knowing the hope, peace, grace, forgiveness and love found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
There are a number of other lessons I’ve learned and am learning. But time warrants that I find a stopping place. From time to time over the next few weeks, I hope to continue to share these faith/life lessons.
Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem