I have recently been reading The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing, by Jeff Goins. I like his writing since he’s around my age and knows how to write things that many people resonate with, Christian and non-Christian alike.
I’m not finished yet, but I think I’ve got the gist of where the rest of the narrative will take the reader, and I can already highly recommend this book.
This morning I read a comment that I’m not going to quote as much as paraphrase, that was along the lines of asking the question, “What if God is not so concerned about what we are doing or where, but on Who we’re being transformed into?”
I thought that was poignant and I highlighted it in my Kindle. Then earlier today when I signed into Facebook, I saw a status update from Revival or Riots that hit me in a good way:
More church meetings will not change things for the better around here – but learning how to actually engage with people in real life situations will.
I would propose to you that you don’t learn that much about how to engage people in real-life situations when you are sitting stadium-style in a room listening to one person talk at you.
I couldn’t agree more.
I think many millennials like myself, especially from charismatic and “prophetic” circles, have easily fallen into a rut where we have been waiting for the next revival or “prophetic movement” or some kind of nebulous “next big thing” to come before we feel we can fully walk into our destinies.
Recently after getting married I watched my Bible School graduation DVD with my wife Lili. I noticed that at as each of us walked up onto the stage to receive our diplomas, one of our professors read a little blurb about what we’d be doing after graduating. It was a little humorous ten years later to hear it said that I’d be moving to Holland to help with the mission base there, which I did a couple of years later and then eventually made my way to Peru, where I’ve been ever since.
I know things didn’t work out for me like I planned or intended, but there were other classmates of mine whose desires and possibly their true calling was to go do quite awesome things for God. And I’m not sure what stopped them or has hindered them so far from going for it.
I’m not saying that if you didn’t go become a missionary after graduating Bible school that you missed God, but I often times wonder what changed people’s minds. Or how come people didn’t go after whatever it was they were passionate about at an earlier point in life. Not just regarding classmates of mine, but other friends whose proximity of friendship has allowed me to know their passion and ask “what’s holding you back?”
As I’ve stayed connected with other friends over the years, I’ve heard “Once I do __________ then I’ll do finally_______. It’s the “if only” syndrome. There are those who believe that if they were just more _______ then we would finally satisfy God somehow and revival would spring forth.
Or, to stack the deck a little differently using the same cards, if only revival sprung forth, then they could finally do this or that like God had asked them to.
I know people working dead-end jobs they have no passion about and could easily get out of if they wanted to but instead are waiting for some big thing to come along and when THAT does, then everything’s going to finally change.
Friend, it won’t.
What if instead of longing for some future time when everything will be perfect, we looked around at what we can do today?
What if, instead of pining for days in the future where we’ll preach to stadiums or whatever our personal “ministry” desire is, and realize God has given us neighbours who live next to us right now.
What if, instead of waiting on that thing you’re waiting to happen, you looked at your life and realize who you have influence over right now and how you could disciple them?
Or what if, instead of trying to make it happen, you just let the waiting process prepare you for it and look at what you can do in the meantime?
In a previous blog post, I mentioned how the apostle Paul seems to have started the church in Philippi while on his way to do some other greater ministry in Macedonia. But he got arrested for casting out a demon (I hate it when that happens to me). He seems to have started a community or fellowship of believers with Lydia and her family and the jailer and his family. And the rest is history. (See the sixteenth chapter of Acts for more context)
There’s stuff God wants to do with your life during the “in-between”. Not tomorrow, not later once everything is perfect, but in the time of transition, or of waiting.
What can you do today to impact the world around you while you wait for that other thing that has to happen later?