June and I both turn 70 in 2016, and we are entering what will most likely be our last decade of ministry. (Although Navigator Jim Downing is still going strong at age 102!) Anyway, I sometimes look back on our early days around The Navigators in the late 1960s, and we thought that by now spiritual multiplication would have “worked” and we’d be “done” by now! What will motivate us to keep going for the next 10 years and beyond? And how will we pace ourselves?
For example, we want to create a life rhythm that rules out overbooking and builds in periods of rest. One pastor told me a while back, “Fatigue is the price you pay for trying to change the world.” That sounded good at the time, but upon reflection, our working ourselves to death is not what God requires to change the world.
With respect to our early belief that the mission should have been accomplished by now, I read recently in Joshua that while a lot of land had been claimed (Joshua 21.43 – 45), there were still more enemies to defeat (Joshua 23.4 – 13). There will always be work. There will always be needs. Another pastor told me in response to these observations from Joshua, “We don’t change the world. Jesus does that. We are just ants in the colony.” I like that.
It’s OK to create a life rhythm with built-in rest periods. We want to finish strong, not burn out before the finish line! So we will pace ourselves while still focusing on the work that God has given all of us to do. I’ll be writing about that over the next days.