have you considered switching lenses?
This entry is referenced from the book of Haggai, where we observe two types of workers in the church. The older ones had probably experienced some form of glory days before. Hence it would be natural for them to:
- Look backwards towards good old days
- Reminisce past memories
- Remember what it used to be, and
- Relive history
More often than not, this constant comparison would leave them disappointed and disillusioned. The younger ones, however, are anticipating their own days of glory. Hence you would expect them to:
- Look forward towards new beginnings
- Be out to create new memories
- Imagine what it could be, and
- Want to make history
So this would naturally result in them being energised and driven. The difference was that the younger ones caught sight of the future – a glimpse of greatness and a flash of hope! So I believe that at the end of the day, in light of positivity or negativity which would inevitably happen around us, it boils down to perspective!
Ed Silvoso once said, “The greatest hindrance to faith is not unbelief but memories.” I concur. Our memories can indeed become hindrances and limitations to what God can do because we have a tendency to repeat positives and avoid negatives. This causes us to be reluctant to embrace new ideas and initiatives. Let’s not get caught in the rearview mirror. We must learn to honour the past, cherish the present and anticipate the future. It’s not our past that determines our future but God’s presence.
My favourite footballer, Eric Cantona (whom I saw in person just last week!) once said this, after he returned from an eight-month ban from kung-fu kicking a fan who verbally abused him – “I use the past to breed a better future.” We must not compare the former R-AGE, e-Gigs, camps, conferences or any other events (or even people!) with the future R-AGE. Every year is different and quite rightly so! Instead, we must look forward to the future with hope and expect that God will bring us from glory to glory.
For the older ones – don’t dishearten the younger ones… And for the younger ones – set an example for your leaders by inspiring and motivating them with your energy! When the energy of the young and the experience of the old comes together, the youth group becomes a powerful place.
Instead of comparing today with what happened in the past, the older ones must instead:
- Remind the youths of their heritage
- Encourage them
- Rely on their strength, and
- Not be wet blankets and water down their passion
Most importantly, they must provide a platform for God’s purposes to be performed through the younger ones. In turn, the younger ones must approach the elders this way:
- Remind them of their destiny
- Enthuse them
- Glean from their wisdom, and
- Not be foolish and ignore the advice of the older ones
One of the best thing they could do for themselves would be to approach the older ones to be mentored by them so that God’s purposes in their life could be progressed. The most dangerous thing for us to do is to compromise and meet in the middle – we end up neither here nor there and result in dissatisfaction. We must dream together to birth what God has deposited in our hearts! Remember, it’s all about interchanging our perspective for a better one from God!