Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Celebrating Lifes Little Victories

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a big ideas person, I think a lot about mainly the church and the way it is expressed in the world. Now, when you are a big ideas person, it can become infuriating that these things aren't happening. You become obsessed with the 'bigger picture' and lose sight of what is happening around you.

Now here's a phrase I heard a while back that changed the way I do things completely:

"Jesus didn't start his ministry (work) till he was 30"

So, the guy who I try to model my life on, Jesus, didn't start his serious ministry till he was 30, a whole 9 years older than me! It relaxed me and freed me a lot.

Really we are in a society where there is a lot of pressure to do a lot of things younger and younger. Sebastian Vettel has just become the youngest F1 champion ever at 23, Justin Bieber's a multi millionaire in his teens, my sister is a mum at 20. Now by no means are these bad things, their achievements are great, but it puts pressure on those in church ministry to do the same. I want to be doing some insane revolutionary ministry at age 21!

Recently though I have come to a point where I realise that this isn't the biblical way. This isn't a revolutionary way of life. I live an ordinary life of twenties frustration. But then the shift of thinking came about. Rather than always focusing on what wasn't happening, what plans I wanted to happen in the future, I started celebrating the small victories, and each small victory lead to a bigger victory which in turn I celebrated. This came in ideas. I manged to get a leadership position in youth, which lead to a little celebration. Then my first youth social had 12 youth, which lead to a bigger celebration, all the time thanking my maker and Father.

I realised though, this attitude didn't just have to apply to my ministry, to my ideas, this attitude spilled over into my problems, my sin. The natural tendency with my sin was to look at the problem and think it was too big to heal, too big to overcome. The most prominent one for me is pornography. It's a BIG problem, and sometimes I just felt overwhelmed with guilt, and helpless for it to be overcome. Now my attitude is shifting, instead I celebrate the small victories. Recently I went 12 days without pornography in my life, then I went back to it for an evening. I repented, and then after rather than dwell on the sin, I choose to celebrate the 12 days without it, and it feels liberating.

This is the biblical way, the story of the prodigal son. God rejoices over that one victory, having a huge epic party. This lifestyle is grace-filled, uncondemning, and completely counter cultural. The thing is when we thank God and celebrate what we do have, the little victories we have had, God will then give us more. We need not pressure ourselves to work harder to get a better job in ministry, more people at church, less sin in our lives, what we need to do is celebrate the victories we do have with God, and more victories will come out of that. In a city where young people look to overpressured business people like The Aprentice employees as role models, we can offer this message of freedon and release.

Thank you for reading,