What Really Matters?
This MMM was inspired by a colleague, Steve Pogue.
A few weeks ago was Campus Crusade for Christ's national staff conference at Colorado State. Rick Cook, a 51 year-old staff member of our ministry and the father of three, suffered a fatal heart attack after jogging. His death put a solemn air over the rest of our conference and reminded me that life is short. My mind was filled with things I needed or wanted to do that morning. Rick was done. I was worried about problems, and busyness. I wasn't worried about this being my last day on earth.
Rick and I both graduated from Purdue University a year apart. Rick was one year older than me and our children are about the same age. I knew of his love for his family, his ministry and his God.
This event reminds me of C.S. Lewis' comment: "Everything that is not eternal -- is eternally out of date." I can sure expend a lot of emotional energy on the wrong stuff.
As you start another school year with courses to prepare, departmental meetings, phone calls, emails, letters, grant proposals, manuscripts...maybe we can keep a few things in mind:
Being more concerned about what Christ thinks than what others think. One former professor at our conference said "I wish I had lived more for what Christ said than the acclaims I got from my work." Perhaps it's a matter of thinking about Whose opinion really matters. When I judge my life by the opinions of others, it's like one of your students basing their project or paper on the criteria of what their friends think is cool instead of the criteria that you as the final judge have given.
Being content with what I can accomplish today. Jesus said in John 17:4 that He had brought glory to His Father by completing everything He was asked to do. There were many needs He didn't meet: He hadn't healed every sick person in the world, He hadn't seen everyone come to salvation, He hadn't taught everyone. Yet He was satisfied that His work was done because He had done His part of God's overall work and not worried about the part He didn't do.
Connecting with people -- I tend to think most people are doing okay. When I take the time to really ask how a friend is doing, I am often surprised by the heavy burdens they carry. Some of us are hiding our hurts and failing to let brothers and sisters in Christ minister to us. There may be someone else in our department or on campus that God wants to use to pray for us and minister to us.
As this school year starts, I am praying for you. My son, Caleb, starts as a freshman this year and this has reminded me that God has placed you in a position of great witness for His kingdom. Thanks for shining the light of Christ to others.
Action Point: Begin each day this week asking, "Just who is my audience this day? Colleagues? Students? or God?
Return to Ministry Minutes Index