I had the joy of returning to be at the 100th Anniversary of the first church that I served - Community Congregational Church in Billerica, MA. One thing that I noted - everyone was older (it's been 16 years since I have been with my brothers and sisters). I often wonder about the impact that a ministry has on people and the kind of legacy present in the lives of the people.
Jeremiah 31:21 states, "Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take." The context for Israel was their projected return from exile. For me, it wasn't exile; instead, it was a time of affirmation of my call. Every once in a while we need that moment of affirmation from those we once served. Though there were many kind words shared, there was one that was one of those markers.
I spoke with a young man to whom I ministered into his early twenties. He was visiting for the celebration (he and his young family now live in Tennessee) and he approached me after the worship service. He said, "Do you remember how you asked the congregation to pray this simple breath prayer in 2000, instead of making a New Year resolution? It was, 'Lord Jesus, help me to get to know you better today.' I was shocked. I was ecstatic. He remembered that prayer from 23 years ago. He said, "I have been praying that prayer nearly every day for more than 20 years." I thanked him and told him that this had been part of my prayer life, nearly every day for all those years as well.
God is good. That one simple 'breath prayer' made a difference in his life.
Periodically, I ask God, "Why me?" It's for those precious moments of affirmation that help to provide continuing direction. The more I spend time getting to know the Lord Jesus the more I am able to find my way to where I belong. I don't find myself singing with Bono (of U2), "I still haven't found what I'm looking for." Instead, I am grounded in the love of God. I can see where I have been and I can see the path before me, one step at a time.
Let me encourage you with that same breath prayer, one more time. "Lord Jesus, help me to get to know you better today." It is getting to know him that empowers us to walk with wisdom and in the knowledge of the Holy One.
God bless you in your journey along the way.