Moving through life is like reading chapters in a book. Most people read one chapter at a time. Life is the same – as you move through life, you open and close one chapter at a time with each chapter usually focusing on a different theme or emphasis.
I remember when I closed the chapter on pastoring a church. After my thirty years of being a pastor, God decided it was time for me to begin a ministry of consulting. So my wife and I launched into a totally new chapter of our lives. It was a scary time, as it usually is when following God’s lead.
Closing a chapter of one’s life requires looking forward and putting the past behind. That doesn’t mean you don’t build on the experiences of the past, but it does mean that future experiences are your primary focus. Great leaders are always focused on the future rather than the past or even the present.
Once again, my wife and I have closed a chapter and are beginning a new one together. Her stroke has changed most everything about our lives. The challenge in this chapter of our lives will be to find ways to believe that the best is yet to come. Although that could be a formidable challenge, hints of the way forward are already emerging – even under these circumstances, we have spent more quality time together these past six months than in the last six years.
I was having a conversation with a man about my age when I noticed that everything he talked about was in the past. This man was healthy. He had all his faculties. Yet he lived entirely in chapters of his life that had been closed for some time. I felt sorry for him. I don’t want to become that way. I believe that as long as we are alive, God has something for us to do. In my wife’s case, it is to teach me patience and caring.
So even though this new chapter is a bit scary and overwhelming, I’m anticipating God doing something wonderful as we move though it. I’ll keep you posted.
Question: How have you built on past chapters of your life to live better in the present? Share your experiences in the Comments section below.