A friend of mine once worked in an organization that underwent a strategic review. The result? His department was, ‘running from one emergency to the next’.
This phrase has stuck with me ever since. I think it’s because it seems this is how life is for most of us. We’re constantly busy, often feeling like there’s no overarching purpose. There’s little passion either. Unless there’s a fantastic footy match or an interesting cause to get behind until it falls out of vogue. Otherwise, life passes us by; no great passion, no great purpose.
Reading Paul’s letter to the Romans challenges me. In ‘running from one emergency to the next’ I wonder if we’re making the most of our short time on earth. But a look at Romans 1 indicates Paul sees things differently.
We find his life’s passion in verses 16 and 17 – ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous shall live by faith.”’
Paul’s passion is revealed in his greetings (Rom 1:5-7), and prayers (Rom 1:8), but especially his plans (Rom 1:11-13). His work plans, his travel plans, all flow from his passion. He uses his gifts to help other Christians, he does what he can to share with non-Christians, and he’s deliberate. Does that sound like our plans? Are our lives reflective of an overarching gospel mindset, or are we being pushed through the typical assembly line of a first-world existence?
I once heard something radical from a preacher. He said we live our lives back to front. Most of us find a job in a career we want, then find houses we can afford, then look for a church. But he said we should start with a good church that teaches you the Bible, where you can serve and be served, find a house you can afford nearby, then find a job that pays for the house and serves in church. Too passionate? Not realistic?
If we believe the gospel it will prevent us from running from one emergency to the next. Instead, it will be our life’s driving force so that it shapes our plans.
Kids & Youth Pastor