Having Passed the Baton

For many years, the third week of June was one of the highlights of the year for my wife and I. That’s because this is the time when the Foundations Conference takes place in Vajta, Hungary. Foundations is a conference for Calvary Chapel missionaries and national workers from all over Eastern Europe to gather together for a week of fellowship and teaching. It was a time for us of seeing friends we often only saw at that conference, as well as a time of being recharged physically and spiritually, and seeking the Lord.

This year I’ve been keeping up with some of what’s happening at Foundations on Instagram, where I get to see familiar faces and places.

Today on Instagram I saw this photo, which filled me with so many emotions:

In that picture are friends of mine, and they are praying for a young man named Jonathan, who is serving as a missionary in Eger, Hungary at the church Rosemary and I started 9 years ago. Standing behind him is Jani, a man who I first met when he was not a Christian, but who I had the privilege of leading to The Lord, pouring into, raising up in ministry, and who is now the pastor of that church in Eger.

I remember how on the last night of one of these Foundations conferences several years ago, I was up front praying for people, and Jani came up and asked me to pray that God would bless him and his wife with a baby. Only a few months later, we got the good news that Tünde, his wife, was pregnant with their first child.

I’m a bit jealous that I can’t be there withy them right now, but it fills me with so much joy to see these guys who now carry that baton, going for it with all they’ve got. It is a good feeling when something you started takes on a life of its own.

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Busyness: The Enemy of the Soul

“How have you been?” “Busy!”
“Haven’t seen you much lately. What have you been up to?” “Oh, I’ve just been really busy.”
“We should really get together sometime.” “Yeah, I’d love to. Things are just really busy right now.”

We live in a culture that is chronically busy. Many of us, myself included, are busy doing a lot of really great things – but if we don’t watch out, our busyness with all these great things can destroy us.

What legacy will you have to show for all your running around?

Recently I’ve been listening to some audiobooks given to me by a friend. One of them is about how to get out of debt – a topic I’m very interested in. And what I see is that there is a parallel between how our culture handles money and time.

You see – because of technological developments of everything from cars to the internet, we now have more time on our hands, which frees us up to many more possibilities! We can go more places and do more things and connect with more people than ever before. In the same way – money and products are also readily available, perhaps like no other time before. Even if you have no money, there are a myriad of ways to finance purchases, which you can leverage to buy GOOD things, like houses and cars, you couldn’t have before. But, if you are always spending your money on every good thing that comes your way – after a while, you end up with very little to show for your years of hard work. The statistics on how much money passes through the average middle-class home in America are astounding.

Similarly, with busyness – if we stay busy doing a lot of really good things, we can easily find ourselves BUSY, but then looking back we have very little to show for it. Sure we might accomplish a few things along the way and spend time with some people – but what legacy will we have to show for all of our running around?

On a website I recently read about how the difference between chronically broke people and those who have financial security is found not in income, but in habits. One defining factor is that a much higher percentage of those who attain financial security set out concrete goals for themselves to work towards, whereas many chronically broke people never set out goals to work towards; they go through life living day to day.

The same principle can and should be applied to time-management. What are the goals that you would like to attain with your time? Who is the person you would like to be? What is the big-picture thing you hope to accomplish? What has God called you to do? If you are a spouse or a parent, that is a calling. If you are a Christian, by definition, you have a calling on your life – because to be a Christian is to be one who has been commissioned by Jesus Christ to join Him in His mission.

What do you want your legacy to be?  Do you want to raise a Christian family?  Do you want to have a closer walk with the Lord?  Do you want to be used by God for His purposes in the world? 

Once you have identified what you want to attain, what you are shooting for – then THAT will dictate how you spend your time, it will prioritize your options. Otherwise, you will be just like everyone else: running around like crazy, but with very little to show for it. In fact, being super busy with no purpose and direction – well that will quickly kill your creativity, and it will quickly kill relationships – with people and with God.

Guess what the first thing is that many God-fearing people cut out when they are feeling too busy:  Church. Time with spouse and kids. Bible study. Devotions.  “Oh, I’ll do those things when I am not so busy.”  But if you let your calling in life and the end goals that you hope to attain dictate your priorities, then seeking the Lord and being in fellowship with other believers is always a priority.

Certainly there are many things which might be dialed back in a busy schedule – but figuring out which ones you should dial back is the result of evaluating your goals and focusing yourself on attaining them.

Don’t wind up a victim of your own busyness! Figure out what it is that God has called you to do – and what it is that you hope to attain, and let those things dictate how you spend your time.