The Past, The Present, and The Future
I returned to my home state of Illinois last week to minister in Carmi, IL. Though I am from the Chicago area and Carmi is in the southern part of the state, it was quite the joy to be home for a few days and to enjoy fellow Illinoisan's! In fact, on my last full day there I traveled further south to Golconda, population 750 where I spent two and half years of my life as a child, and on down to Dixon Springs, a quick visit to the Chocolate Factory, owned and operated by Jim and Linda Meherg, friends and family that I've known and loved my entire life. While in Carmi I ministered to a congregation that has a tremendous past, established many years ago, pastored by some top notch pastors, this church has such a rich history, I drove past their first building, and their second building, and I preached in their new third building. The congregants of this church are middle age and up, many of them past 60, and maybe even 70. As you look down the walls you see the old stain glass windows of the old church embedded and lit up in the walls of the new church, and you hear the echoes of the past shouting into the present, prophesying to the future...Your time is now! I loved yesterday, it was a great day, it created opportunities for today, it blessed me with a fantastic foundation. In my yesterday someone paid a price that I could never have paid, they paved paths for me to follow, and they prayed that God would raise me up to take the reins when they could no longer lead, but that was yesterday...I live in today! Today is a great day, it was tomorrow yesterday, just as today will be yesterday tomorrow! Today I have the opportunity to pave the way for others, to impart into this present generation, into my family and friends, to impress upon my children the urgency of living in today, or as Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The fierce urgency of now!" Today is the day the Lord has made and now is the time to rejoice and be glad. Today is the day to touch others, to impact lives, to make a difference in the world I live in...To live in My Space to the fullest! Tomorrow will never come, it will become today, what I want to be in my tomorrow must be planted today! In his book "The Present", C. Spencer Johnson offers these three options for life: a.) Appreciate your past, b.) Live in your present, c.) Plan for your future! We cannot afford to forget yesterday, but we must live in today, we cannot afford not to plan for tomorrow, we must sow into tomorrow...Today! I am convinced that we can learn from where we've been, enjoy where we are, and become what we've always been destined to be!