As most of you know, Janet and I are reaching a point in time when we are processing what the next season of life will look like. We have been blessed in many ways and we want to make the most of the opportunities that are ahead of us. So we have discussed and prayed about the future and what God may expect of us. After all, we believe our best years are still in front of us, as we contemplate turning the page to start a new chapter in our lives.
As part of this exercise, I have been meeting with several pastor friends of mine, advising them of the kinds of things that I am considering and getting their feedback. After all, I have coached thousands of people throughout the years and I know that it is almost impossible to be objective about one’s own future.
It was in this state of mind that I listened with interest as Tim told me about a friend of his that was dealing with imminent retirement. He recounted to me how this man, obviously a successful professional, was struggling with the issues associated with slowing down and accepting a new reality. While the man was apparently rather humble and highly self aware, he finally admitted that humility really wasn’t one of his strong attributes.
And as he faced the prospect of no longer working the way he had, the biggest issue that this professional had trouble facing was the fact that he was about to become a P.I.P. – a previously important person… I kind of chuckled when I heard this, but I can see how people struggle with this issue. After all, most of us who have been leaders and enjoyed positions of authority feed off, at least in part, the accolades and recognition that our positions bring. In fact, it’s part of the whole equation – one of the undiscussed perks that comes with leadership – the perception of power and authority.
Then, suddenly, its over… Younger generations take over and suddenly, former leaders feel like they have been put out to pasture. They no longer enjoy the power and authority – or the thrill that comes with knowing that subordinates hang on your every word. Now I know that everyone isn’t like this, but after interviewing thousands of people and coaching many of them, I can tell you that in the honesty of the moment, many folks who have been reasonably successful in the business world feel this way. Maybe some of these thoughts have even crossed your mind…
But to God, there are no previously important people. We are all important and we have, in fact, been created in the image of God. There is no such thing as becoming irrelevant. We each have a purpose and progressive seasons in our lives that can look different than previous periods we have experienced. The verse for this evening highlights our importance to God and how special we really are. Paul, in his letter to the church at Ephesus, tells us, in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
That’s right – God’s workmanship – and that means we are special – very special! My encouragement tonight is that God considers you very important – not previously important. My prayer is that you will carefully consider what God has in store for you to do next – because whatever it is, it is vital to the kingdom of God and I can assure you that it is very important! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…