I had known the groom for just about 10 years and started to remind myself of what God had been doing in his life and prayed for him as he embarked on this wonderful new chapter. And then I was blown away to realize that a whole decade had passed since we had first met. I started to prayerfully, thankfully remember step-by-step the seasons of my own life and how they had unfolded over the past ten years. What a journey that was. College and uncertainty about the "call," the obligatory college heartbreak, finding the woman of my dreams (losing her) and by God's grace getting a second chance, engagement and marriage, early struggles (financial, emotional, spiritual), my first youth ministry and all the successes and failures that are part of a 23-year old pastor's life. To reflect on the carnage of poor decision making, immaturity, pride was humbling. To see victory in other areas was exhilirating. Remembering the purchase of our first car, first home, first (and only) dog. The news that we were expecting (earth-shattering), the beautiful gift of our first born. The struggle of faith to trust God to meet needs as Amanda quit her job to stay home and then the beauty of watching him supply our needs through nothing less than miracles. To see God's movement and tension give way to His clear leadership. A move to upstate NY to start fresh, a great season of victory in a new ministry, the refining and unveiling of giftedness. More failures, more struggles, more lessons learned the hard way. Great victory over crippling struggles. Two more children, both boys. Uncertainty about my own future rearing its head again and being settled with a new "call" and new passions. All of it has happened in the last 10 years and so much more.
And the crazy part is not all that happened (through our family and in the ministries we serve and the people we love and the God who is so gracious with us). The crazy part is that it seems like just yesterday I was sitting in front of the E. Carter Glass Mansion in Lynchburg, VA, asking God to take my life, dreams, and future, and do something beautiful with it. The crazy part is that I blinked and it was all gone. Our lives truly are a mist, a vapor. They appear one moment and are gone the next. As I reflected on all that God has done, I was forced to look with hopeful expectation to what He has yet to do in me, in my family, in my church, in the Kingdom. And I was brought to a point of humble request - God, let me live today in light of eternity. Let what I give myself to today matter for You and Your Kingdom. We have so little time. Don't waste it.