The expression of gratitude is a great habit to practice and when it comes to birthdays it’s an even better time to put that habit to good effect.
I Was There
I have little to no great recollection of where I was about this time last year. In general, however, I know that I wasn’t in a good place. It was a necessary place, however, and I am at a sufficient vantage point to look back and thank God for working through that situation. It is a sobering insight to be grateful for who god is and honour Him. It’s not a place I want to go to again other than to visit someone else in that position and encourage them that the story is not over.
Where I was last year, however, was a much better place than I’ve been in at various stages of my life and I am very grateful for the process. I wasn’t too grateful during the process, but when the suggestion is made that the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord, those aren’t always necessarily pleasant steps. But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can ask some fellas who know what it is to walk with God and … well … appreciate that it ain’t always pleasant, but as long as it’s Him, it is necessary and it will produce His desired outcome.
There have been also some amazingly exhilarating moments in the year that’s transpired since this time last year. This leads neatly into …
I Am Here
Is this the ideal place? Is this what I would have outlined for myself? In many ways the answer would be no. Yet the buzz about thanksgiving is about looking at what is there to truly see that this is exactly where God wants me to be.
Aspects that make it particularly delightful to be where God wants me to be includes being a married man. I am tremendously grateful for being married to Authrine and the life we’re working out together. I am also hugely grateful for being a father to three beautiful daughters – Deborah, Abigail and Zozo are great reminders of the grace and mercy of God in my life. As they grow it is fascinating see how they engage with the life they have. Three remarkable personalities and a blessing to their Dad.
I am also at a great place in terms of pivotal relationships. There have been a number of new relationships that have cropped up in the last year. So at this time I can say there are some friends that I’m getting to know that are already enriching my life incredibly. They are in my circle of influence not just in an electronic/social media sense, but actually within my physical sphere influence. I can contact them and spend time in their company and really work out what this fellowship business is all about. It’s great to have that. Supplementing that remain some solid friendships that have lasted the test of time. It’s good to know good people and I know some outstanding people around the country and around the world who make me a better man.
It’s a great place for me to be in where getting my act is concerned on a few projects and other things are concerned. Where I am at now is primed to be more intentional in being productive getting certain things from the concept stage to practice. That’s exciting and again I am grateful for the process needed to get to this place.
As I hinted earlier, where I am now is not the ideal that I would have painted for myself, but there’s clear signs of me making progress in this life game. It’s been only too easy to beat myself up for failings real and perceived, but that’s where I go wrong. The deal is keeping my delight in the Lord and benefiting from deepening my relationship with Him. That has taken part considerably over the last year to where I am. I am grateful for where I am at the moment. However …
I’m Going Somewhere
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If only I knew then I would do. Now that I know then I will do. All that kind of stuff, very useful.
I am learning, however, that there’s little point looking to live from the past in the sense of what could have and should have been. I notice something about the life of Jesus and indeed marked by other significant biblical characters. This is the aspect that they knew they were going somewhere. Joseph had a word on his life that informed him he was going somewhere, which certainly helped in slavery and prison as well as Potiphar’s house. David had a word on his life that informed him he was going somewhere, which certainly helped when he was on the run whether from Saul or Absalom as well as when he was able to pass on everything to Solomon. Jesus had a word on His life that informed Him He was going somewhere, which certainly helped when He was rejected by the religious authorities, betrayed by His own disciples and crucified as well as what happened after that.
Having a word on your life is very helpful when going through a variety of interesting situations. It’s certainly very helpful when others don’t understand and things don’t appear to be shifting in the gear that you always. The truth remains, however, that God is on the job and each season you’re going through is integral in its own way to the destination ahead. For me, I am hugely encouraged to know that following Jesus, engaging with Him alone and in community means I know I’m going somewhere. Sure I can enjoy here and appreciate God right here and right now – and I do. I can also live that way safe in the knowledge that ‘here’ is not the somewhere. I want to bless the here while I’m here and receive what I need to receive from the here, but the here is not the somewhere and is a.helpful nudge in that direction.
By here and somewhere I’m not primarily referring to my physical place of abode. What the journey has etched ever deeper in the my being, however is that I’m going somewhere, to fulfil something for the glory of a special Someone. That journey and that destination keeps me motivated. Indeed it’s the knowledge that I’m going somewhere and am on a journey of being matured in the character of Christ that has allowed me to appreciate what it is to be a journeyman.
This Is Not The Conclusion
I don’t have the full insight on God’s schedule. It might well be in His plan that I should be breathing my last and pass on tomorrow. I don’t know. I get the strong impression though that if my life in Christ is anything to go by, there’s a few more episodes to be experienced enjoying walking with Jesus. I reckon there’s more about seeing His Kingdom come and will done on earth as it is in heaven and seeing people come to know Him and love Him.
It may not be the conclusion, but I am very thankful for all God for all He has done and all He is doing.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden