Warren Buffet. The big name in investment. One of his principles of investment is that investors need to take a long term approach.
The longer I have been involved in the church, the more it has become clear to me that it is the same in the kingdom of God. The Lord plans big.
He has plans for our purpose (For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10)
Once He rules in our hearts, He is in it for the long-haul ( I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. -Philippians 1:6)
He plans for “eternal destruction” and “eternal encouragement.” (2 Thess 1:9, 2:16)
Now let us consider the mental timeframes I function on as one of many a recent graduate from the education system; one of many a young person. Breakfast, (second breakfast,) Lunch, and Dinner. This week, next weekend. First Semester, Second Semester. This summer, next summer. Mission trip 2008, mission trip 2009. “What am I doing next month, next year?”
Sometimes when you have that great conversation with someone about the gospel or get a great moment of teachability it is so poignant and encouraging that you want to frame it and put it in the mantlepiece of completion. Score! But people you thought loved the Lord will walk away, and that adrenaline-charged passion you had to read the Bible in a year may fizzle. Hm, fail. Or is it not so?
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses a surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne. -Hebrews 12:1-2
This is not a five year plan, but a life-long marathon. Didn’t finish your reading plan in time? (Yes, this might be me.) Continue in the coming months, and do it with great joy and thanksgiving.
The intricate timeline that has most recently weighed on my mind the gloriousness of God at work is that of a church’s ministries. The nursery, where parents are relieved of their child to listen to God’s Word preached on Sunday morning, and where others are given the opportunity to serve those parents and their child. Sunday School, where kids begin to learn who God is and what He has said to us. Children learn to enjoy the community of the church, and others including youth are given the opportunity to ‘feed’ children. Youth ministry, where young people decide the doctrines they believe, and where they are influenced by their peers and challenged to grow. Adult ministry, where the occasional efforts of youth can become established habits. And where believers are given a chance to gather with fellow believers away from whatever part of the world they are functioning in.
Someone is responsible for organizing that potluck. For arranging the Sunday School schedule. For ordering the pizza for movie night. For registering you at that camp. For preaching the sermon. That one success matters and it doesn’t matter: none of it would be very meaningful or effective if it did not flow continually from everyone involved so that God’s people are living entire lives dedicated to him
The basic measure of our walk with God is not whether we take big steps or loud steps or fast steps but that we endure. That is a good thing to remember in the frustrations and uncertainty of investing our lives and investing in others. This requires a lot of patience, vision, and regulation.
Take one from Warren Buffet: look into long term investing. Choose the Good News and ride out the ups and downs.