It’s a long time, or is it?
When you’re in grade school, 10 years may as well be a life sentence. In that context we can’t even fathom how far away recess is. To a third grader, in 10 years they will all be millionaires, cars will fly, and all known adults will be dead and gone (or at least put away in a home somewhere).
To those young adults out there scraping by, raising a family and working your rears off; you see 10 years a little more realistically. In ten years will have the house one-third paid off, all the kids will be in school (oops, here comes another one… surprise, surprise) and we’ll finally be getting somewhere at work… God willing. It’s still in the distance, but 10 years from now is a light at the end of the tunnel.
To older adults (which, by the way, is anyone older than me) they see 10 years in a completely different light. Listen to them talk: “It’s a blink, a flash, a moment, gone before you know it!” They look down the road and say that in the next ten years yours kids will be grown and gone, your money will be grown and gone, and your hair will be grown and gone… hang on to them all while you can.
So, what’s significant about 10 years? November 14 marks a significant anniversary for me as 10 years ago today I became a pastor for the first time.
It was a traumatic week for me as in that one week time period I becmae a pastor, a dad and lost the mullet I had been working on since 1989.
A moment of silence please for business in the front and party in the back…Thank You… The world does not know what it lost when it gave up on the mullet.
Actually, I’ve been in the ministry since 1991 serving on church staff in various capacities as youth, children and worship pastors before, and had preached for a few years. But, today marks the anniversary of when I was given the responsibility for being the shepherd of a flock and for becoming accountable to their God for where they go and what they do.
Although the national standard shows that pastors change churches every 2-2.5 years, I have only served 2 churches in my 10 years. The one I was in during seminary when I became a pastor and the one I serve in now that I came to after seminary.
Honestly, I’m kind of proud of that (not arrogant so much, and I’m really proud of that), but on this 10 year milestone I’ve been asking myself some questions:
- What have I gotten done in the last 10 years?
- Who have I become in the last 10 years?
- What has changed because of where I’ve been in the last 10 years?
- Did I earn a paycheck, have some fun and just get by, or did my life matter in the last 10 years?
These really aren’t questions anyone else can answer for you. I live and work in a profession where people either love or hate you, and both groups are pretty eager to tell you which camp they live in.
Christians… gotta love’em… seriously, God says we have to.
These questions we have to answer in the quietness of the moments we share with our Lord alone. Others opinions are entertaining, but the God conversation is the only one that really matters.
In the midst of that instropection (
We need to make good use of our time.
So, wherever you are right now in your story, have you thought about your next 10 chapters? Have you asked yourself the hard questions and put some plans on paper? If you don’t write them down, speak them to someone and make them a reality, 10 years from now they will probably still be unrealized thoughts and dreams that never escaped your heart, mind and soul.
Here’s a suggestion. Use the same questions for looking backward to look forward, but change the direction. Write down the answers, make some specific plans (don’t worry about adjusting your plans and answers later, things always change, the purpose is to be going somewhere!) and share them with someone who is going to be with you for the journey during the next big 10.
So, grab a cup of coffee (or a coke if your still young), say a pray and scratch out some answers. We’ll see you back here in, oh, about 10 years:
- What do I want/need to get done in the next 10 years?
- Who do I want to become in the next 10 years?
- What will change because of me in the next 10 years?
- Will I earn a paycheck, have some fun and just get by, or will my life matter in the next 10 years? How?