What’s Important?

In the last couple of years I have two new friends who have influenced me greatly in regards to my approach to ministry: age and cancer.

While young I did not give much thought to how I did ministry because there were many exciting opportunities before me, coupled with plenty of time. I knew that if one approach did not work then I could always try something else. I have since worked at a Christian college, traveled with an itinerant ministry, participated in church start-ups, and served in both traditional and contemporary churches—all the while being involved in myriad ministry strategies and initiatives.

Age has given me the opportunity to look back over thirty years of ministry to determine what lasted and what did not. I have now simplified my life to do the main thing, make disciples of Jesus.

The day I was diagnosed with cancer, I walked out of my doctor’s office in a daze, went across the street and sat down on a park bench. In those moments I realized that what mattered was God’s love for me, my love for him, the people who loved me, and those whom I loved. I had a new understanding of what John meant when he wrote: “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16).

I have a new singular devotion . . . to love well. That’s how disciples are made.

One thought on “What’s Important?

  1. Hi, Lewie,

    Thanks for the post. As you say, age and disease does give one a perspective on life that perhaps was not there previously. I know for my family, when my mom got sick, we all began seeing each day with her as a gift from God. As the Lord says, our days were determined before we were born; we just don’t know how many there are for us or for others, and thus we’re caught off guard when someone we love passes from this life at an early age, from our perspective. I think that may be why God told us not to boast about tomorrow. Of course, with God, a full and complete life is not a matter of age but, “Have we completed the work He’s given us to do?” It is encouraging to know that the Lord is the One who holds the keys to life (and death).

    Perhaps you could expound a little more on on your final comments in your post . . . “a new singular devotion . . . to love well.”

    Thanks for sharing some of what the Lord has taught you through life.


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