Do you remember the last semester of your senior year of high school or college? My last semester of college seemed to last forever! I knew that I would be getting married and starting a new job the month after I finished. I was ready to start my new life. To finally begin to do what I had been preparing to do for the last four years. The problem was that all of my yearning for the future was causing me to completely check out of the present. I was a terrible room mate, student, and employee. I regret not finishing strong.
Now fast forward to the present. For the past three years my family and I have been traveling the country, presenting the burden God has given us for the UK, and trying to raise our needed support to get to the field. Now we are down to less than two months before we leave. Our hearts and minds are focused on getting there. We are looking for houses, praying for locations for a church plant, praying for the people we will meet. We are so excited to finally go and do what we have been preparing and planning for!
The temptation we are facing right now is to withdraw from where God has us at the present. It would be easy to rush through our final meetings in the flesh. Not taking the time to really be a blessing to the people that we meet. Not really paying attention to the needs of those around us. It would be easy to neglect our family and friends that are here simply because our minds and hearts are so focused on getting there. My prayer right now is that we might finish deputation strong.
We would think it was crazy for a person to train for a marathon, begin to run the race, make good time for the first 25 miles, and then lazily walk the last mile of the race. But this is what I do so often.
There are so many times in my life that I have become so enamored with the future that I have neglected the here and now. I rushed through pregnancy looking forward to holding a baby, I rushed through the newborn months looking forward to sleep, I rushed through the toddler years looking forward to no more diapers, I rush through childhood looking forward to a clean house.
I think even a lot of times we can look forward to Heaven so much that we neglect the commission we have been given on this earth to tell others about the salvation we have been given through the Gospel of Jesus.
Paul was able to say in Acts 20:24 “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
The missionary hero Jim Elliot said , “Wherever you are be all there.”
I think it is great to have goals and to strive to do great things. But I also want to stop and finish the things God has given me to do today in a way that brings Him great glory.