As I drove to work this morning I heard a Chicago Bears fan discussing the football game from yesterday. This game for the Bears determined if they would go to the Super Bowl; and they lost. The Bears’ fan admitted that as he grew up in Chicago that the common phrase was “Wait till next year!”
Chicago loves its sports teams. The fans from there are always optimistic that “next year” will be the year! That is the beauty of sports, there is a next season.
Unfortunately I believe that too many Christians live their lives saying “Wait till next year.” We have an optimistic view of what we will do for the Lord in the future; yet we let “Today” pass in vain. Why is that?
I think there are a couple glaring reasons that I have seen during my years of ministry.
1. In working with youth I see that kids think it is what they will do when they are adults. They plan to serve God when they are older not recognizing their opportunities today.
2. With both youth and adults we have compartmentalized our Christian lives to where serving is part of specific, short-term mission trips. In other words we view service as planned periods of time; we simply schedule God into our lives.
In response to the first issue: God has throughout history used young people to do great things. Jeremiah 1:6But I said, "Hold it, Master God! Look at me. I don't know anything. I'm only a boy!" 7-8God told me, "Don't say, 'I'm only a boy.' I'll tell you where to go and you'll go there. I'll tell you what to say and you'll say it. Don't be afraid of a soul. I'll be right there, looking after you." God's Decree. (The Message)
As for the second issue: I recently was discussing the philosophy of mission trips. I came to the conclusion that yes, we have a target or goal of what we want to do and who we want to serve; yet the biggest thing I recognized is that the trips simply help us teach and encourage what should be taking place on a daily level in our lives. I determined that going on a mission trip does not make one a missionary; instead one goes on a mission trip because he realizes he is a missionary. Our missionary journey began at the point of salvation! “Mission trips” simply remind us that in life we have to be flexible with schedules and open to what God has laid before us.
We should not look at our Christian lives based solely on future events (i.e. “Wait till next year.) Instead we should be ready and serving “in season and out of season.” (See 2 Timothy 4:2)
God should not be relegated to our being a part of our calendars, an addition to our lives; instead He should be our lives! We should look at every day, every moment, as an opportunity to serve and glorify Him!
Psalm 95:6-8 (New King James Version)
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you will hear His voice:
8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,