HOW FAR WE'VE COME
As I was posting a #TBT I came across this picture. This picture was from July 19, 2014, just a little over a year ago from this post. We had just signed the lease on the building, built a few falls, painted, cleaned, cleaned, and cleaned some more. We had the following:
- NO A/C
- Only about 25 mismatched chairs
- The sound table sitting in the middle of the floor by the stage
- A stage made of OSB
- A gazillion windows shining through
- A dirty destroyed kids area
- And a lot we did without
Needless to say we were a work in progress. I can further say, WE STILL ARE! I often find myself frustrated that we aren't THERE yet. Both in my personal life and pastoral life I can be known to beat myself up for not being a completed work yet. Unfinished things drive me crazy! However I couldn't help but realize a few things as I shared this picture. It isn't how far we have left to go, it is how far we've come. In just a year we have come further than I could have imagined. Through the ups and downs, we have continue to make progress. Looking at the #TBT encourages me because if we made it this far in a year, imagine where God can take us in the years to come. We aren't THERE yet but we are heading that way.
WHERE IS THE THERE?
Do you ever wonder why we beat ourselves up for making mistakes, falling back into the same traps, not being "further along" in life? It's because we think that there is some destination we are supposed to achieve. As a church, we think there is some finished work we are supposed to look like. As Christians, we think there is some portrait of a completed Christian we are supposed to reflect. David said in Psalm 25:4 (NIV) "4 Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths." The truth is there is no THERE. It's called a Christian walk, walking with the Lord, and a life journey for a reason. There is no destination until we reach heaven. If you are still alive and reading this God is still working on you. Only when you go home will His work be complete. There is no THERE while we are still HERE.
CONSIDER THE THROWBACK
Whenever you get frustrated at your same mistakes, or beat yourself up because you haven't beat that thing yet, consider the throwback. Here is an exercise: find a picture of yourself in middle school, now thank God you don't look like that or dress that like anymore! You will feel a lot better about yourself when you consider the throwback of your middle school years and see how far you have come. We are human and will fall down, often times tripping over the same thing. But in your journey you can still find progress and rejoice in the progress. We are all growing spiritually, physically (unfortunately in the wrong places), and maturely. Consider the throwback, now get excited about how far God can grow you in the upcoming years. Celebrate your small victories and the baby steps. I know I did when my boys were still just babies. Focus not on the distance remaining, but on the distance covered. Constantly pray, "God show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths" so that we may journey together with God! And one day, we'll get THERE but it won't be while we are still HERE.