I’m not as young as I used to be. I still feel young (in my thinking) most of the time, but I often feel the slow-down in my body. At any rate, I am accepting the fact that I can never go back. As I evaluate my life now and look to the future, here’s how I hope to live the second half of my life:
I want to draw nearer to God than I ever have, and continually surrender to the dealings of God. I don’t want Jesus to be my hobby. I don’t want Christianity to be my “spare time” pursuit. I want to be consumed with a pursuit for God. I want to be someone who will never quit, never give in, and never lose faith. I want to reach the place where I obey every command He gives. I have a deep longing for God.
I want my relationship with Renae to go deeper in the second half of our lives. We’ve been married for 28 years. (I hope we have 28 more). Both of our children are now grown. Plus, we have kept ourselves in pretty good shape, and are otherwise healthy, which means we could have a pretty active life in front of us. Without the responsibility of small children to take care of, we now have the opportunity to travel extensively and spend a great deal of time (alone) together. I hope we can travel the United States from one end to the other, as well as a trip or two to Europe. In the full cycle of marriage the end is like the beginning – just like it started – the husband and wife. I think I’m looking forward to that. I’m also looking forward to being surrounded by an extended family of grandchildren one day…. but not too soon. I think I will enjoy having my two sons and their families over for the holidays and stuff like that. It feels kind of corny to get sentimental, but I'm certain I am going to enjoy that phase of my life.
My top ministry challenge is to prepare the congregation of PCC for a time when I will not be the senior pastor. While I believe I still have a long tenure ahead of me at PCC, I am looking far enough into the future trying to visualize the day when someone else will be at the helm. That day will come and when it does Pace Community Church must still be effective after I am no longer its lead pastor. That means that I must (right now) continue the process of cultivating new leaders (both staff and volunteers) with an eye on the future. The future of PCC will require leaders who value where we have been, but also can see where this church must go. To that end, I will have to embrace changes that I myself may not understand. That will be necessary if this church is to have ‘staying power’ beyond my tenure. Who knows, the next pastor of PCC may be a teenager who currently attends our youth ministry right now. Trust me, my eyes are open.