From My Heart
I am the poster child for late bloomers.
My first kiss finally occurred at age 23. I had my first child when I was 32. My first publishing contract came at age 53. You could say that delayed gratification is programmed into my DNA. It’s just too bad that patience isn’t.
Anxious to accomplish my goals, I ponder the ramifications of hope deferred. I rationalize: Doesn’t the Bible say it makes a heart sick? Doesn’t sound good; probably should be avoided. There isn’t an intrinsic value that augmentally increases every day I languish waiting for my dreams to be fulfilled.
I am not alone in my impatience. As a society, we tend to take shortcuts to acquire what we feel is critical to our happiness. Sexual purity is thrown aside, character is brokered for promotions, marriage and family are sacrificed to personal fulfillment. The Bible is full of examples of morally derailed people, such as Esau who traded his entire future in order to fill his stomach, or King David who jeopardized his friendship with God to fulfill a middle-aged sexual fantasy.
This is why I have to continually remind myself that an eternal focus is important – for the person in the pew or the pulpit. We can whine and gripe or we can conclude that God’s agenda is the most important. That is why Matthew 6:33 is a Christian imperative. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. We all have goals, dreams, and hopes; filtering them through God’s will is the only way to deal with disappointment when they don’t materialize or inflated egos when they do.
Regarding myself, I pray and acknowledge that no matter how strongly I believe I deserve to have my dreams fulfilled, following God is more important. And for the gazillionth time I lay down my desires and acknowledge that He is Lord of my life.
A friend from Bible study made a profound statement. She said, “If you want to follow your dreams you shouldn’t be a Christian.” Took awhile to get my mind around it, but when I did I had to agree. Our life is not our own. The gifts He gives us are not an entitlement to pursue our own path, but rather are subject to His direction.
This is a good reminder for us in the ministry. Your dreams for ministry, even ones fueled by God’s breath, are subject to God’s will and timing. Go in peace