Wasted Years

Chance encounters do exist…or do they? Is it really chance when we meet someone, or was it carefully orchestrated…for that moment, of that day, you would meet/run into that person and have that conversation. This weekend I had the opportunity to meet Phil Stacey from season 6 of American Idol. Very normal guy, with a raw heart for Jesus. He had come to our church to put on a concert for a new men’s ministry that is in the “roots” stages and he also stayed & sang during our morning worship services the next day. Our choir got to sing with him, that was pretty cool. All that isn’t why I am writing… I suppose you know that… I mean, what does all of that have to do with a title of “Wasted Years”? Well, Phil shared different pieces of his testimony & while there are many things he said that really ministered to me… I want to share the main thing in this blog entry…

Phil spoke of how we can’t wait for things until we think we are ready. That we just gotta take that first step. We have to go for it and know that He will provide the way. He spoke of how if he had waited until he thought he was ready, he wouldn’t have done many of the things he has already accomplished in his life. He gives the glory & honor to God for everything good in his life. I loved the stories of faith & healing that he had experienced first hand. He told of the time that he was held at gun point & should have died right then & there but God delivered him by the power of prayer. He said this morning that our prayer life is a direct picture of our faith. If we don’t pray often, then our faith is small…because if we truly realized what the power of our prayers held…that we truly are communing with the Creator of the universe…that He listens and cares about our prayers – so if we really believed in the truth of all of that, we would spend more time in prayer – ouch! SO TRUE!!

This made me think of my grandfather… William T Brown. “Big Bill” is what he was affectionately known to me as 🙂 I adored him. (still do!) My belated grandfather was a precious man. He lived 84 years on this earth, but only a little more than 3 as a born again believer, and that hurt him. He shared his heart with me one night as I spent a long weekend with him…the last weekend I ever spent with him before he passed… It was December and we were sharing coffee and he told me that he had so many wasted years. I encouraged him that they weren’t wasted but he politely and kindly continued on that he wished that he had found Jesus years before. He went on about all the lives he could have touched. He told me that night that he felt like Paul that if he dies soon he gains because he would be with Jesus and his beloved wife he so loved & missed (he had been widowed for 25 years)… but he also said that if he lives he gains because he gets to tell others about Jesus. I loved seeing the fire in his eyes & heart for Jesus. His words still resonate deep within my heart and touch my soul. He said I am so lucky because I have a relationship with Jesus now in my youth…oh the things I could do for Him.

In the waning hours of my grandfather’s life as the days drew shorter, he didn’t ache over travel dreams, financial decisions, or the like… He was a very frugal man (even wore a rope for a belt often :)) – what his heart ached over was that he had “wasted years”.

So when I think of that… I am compelled to ask you also – what are you doing with your life? Right now, are you wasting your years? DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE! You were made to make a difference, to love & be loved, to reach a hurting, lost, desperate world and share Jesus’ love with them so that they can be made whole & then find others too & lead them to the cross. Be the person God has called you to be NOW. Don’t wait. Don’t be satisfied with a life of medocrity either. Don’t be luke warm. Every encounter you have with others can be an opportunity of ministry, and likely is one. Whether you realized it, accept it, or not – others are taking in what you are doing and saying. Drinking it in like a sponge…are you honoring your Creator with those encounters? Does your family see Jesus within you? Are you ok with living a different life when you walk through the church doors than what you live outside of them? God made you to be more… Honor Him by accepting the call. Go against the grain, in all times, in all ways – acknowledge Him with your life. I believe we all have a ministry (our families, jobs, friends, church, everyday encounters, etc); what are you doing with yours?

Don’t leave this life with wasted years.

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