Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction

BUILDING FUTURES

 I am going to make a very personal confession … I get sentimental. This is a very different kind of week for me. In 23 years of full time ministry I have directed 18 high school graduation ceremonies. I am gearing up for one over Memorial Day Weekend.  BUT this time one of the graduates is not just LIKE one of my kids … she IS one!

As my oldest prepares to receive her diploma (the symbolic key to adulthood) I am flooded with memories, regrets, and wishes. Having a part in someone’s life is an incredible opportunity, an enormous responbility, and a humbling experience.

While students and congregants may think they see some flaws or mistakes in me … my daughter KNOWS those flaws and points out those mistakes.

The proudest moments of my life have been during commencement services and looking at those young people -some I knew well and others only casually- but understanding that somehow in someway God had used me to influence and impact them.

When personal sin and failure becomes known it dimishes ones influence but not the impact. In fact, it can magnify the impact in a negative way. Yet time has a way of putting those feelings into perspective. Ill memories are pushed aside and good ones coming pushing through. It’s another example of God’s grace of allowing let downs to be let go. I am always blessed beyond words when a former student or church member from years past -sometimes a few years and sometimes many years ago- makes contact through facebook or text message and lets me know, that despite my flaws, my influence is appreciated.

When every parent holds their newborn for the first there is this immediate flood feelings and terror. You love this child beyond words yet are scared you are now responsible to not screw up this poor kid’s life. When you’re in ministry …magnify that emotion by a hundred or two hundred or a thousand.

During a recent awards presentation I forgot a certificate for one of our pre-schooler’s. His family forgave me as it was an honest mistake and oversight BUT the crushed look on his innocent face was more than I could bare. I placed myself in his shoes. How do you like feeling when everyone around you is being recognized and awarded but you are left out?

As exciting as it is to know that people come to hear you speak and desire your influence … it is also frightening at the same time. Not only will you be held accountable for accuracy and truth but personal character as well.

All you can do is use what God have gifted with you and constantly keep the magnitude of it before you. Not IF but WHEN you fail, sin, err … admit it, deal with it, accept the consquences of it and know that most will forgive, some never, but others need some time to reflect and remember.

You need to as well. Reflect on the impact of your action and remember the reason you invested in the first place. Let God worry about your legacy. You worry about making Him look good and showing people what God looks like when He walks into classroom, into a pulpit, into life, into a job, into parenting, into influencing … and WHEN you make a mistake … show people how God owns it, judges it, and fixes it.

When others see God in action through you … that when the real influence begins!

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