As we are a few days into the New Year, I hope you have taken some time to reflect on your God-given purpose. I hope you have taken some time to be still and seek the Lord that he may guide your steps in 2019
As I sat still before the Lord, it gave me an opportunity to focus on ministry – the goals and visions I had for the church where I serve as pastor. It gave me an opportunity to focus on my ministry and passion as an author; to develop an action plan for marketing and not just writing. It also gave me an opportunity to focus on my relationships – being purposeful to be present. If you did not sit still and focus prior to entering 2019, it is not too late. Anytime is good time to focus on what the Lord would have you to do. If we are purposeful everyday about being present with the Lord, then every day can truly be a THIS is the DAY that the Lord has made and you will rejoice and be glad in it. Resolve in 2019 that every day is a “This is the Day!” When every day is a “this is the day”, then you are intentional about everything. You are specific and not general.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted for Christmas from my baby brother…originally asked for “Becoming” by Michelle Obama but received it as gift for my b-day. So then I asked for an Amazon gift card but as I flipped through Amazon website I saw Tim Tebow’s book, This is the Day, so I asked for a specific gift. In light of my vision casting, planning, etc., if I waited for the gift card, I would not have the book to start reading over Christmas break and secondly, I would have risked buying something else (i.e., something to wear or an unnecessary accessory). Tebow’s book lines up with where I am going in 2019. Every day you wake up is a “This Is the Day” and every day I intention to “Reclaim My Dream”, “Ignite My Passion” and “Live My Purpose” in all areas of my life.
In 2016 I did Michael Hyatt’s BYE (Best Year Ever) program and he talked about having goals in every area or circle of your life. One of the reasons we don’t accomplish our WRITTEN goals is because we only focus on one or two areas and the lack of attention in the other area causes everything to breakdown. You cannot focus on your career and forget about your health and/or your family. You cannot focus on your social life to the detriment of your career. There must be balance. Hyatt spoke of balance in your circle of being, doing and relating. THIS is the DAY for my best self for God as I focus on my circle of being – my health – spirit, soul and body. THIS is the DAY for my best self for God as I focus on my circle of doing – doing in my career & my ministry. THIS is the DAY for my best self for God as I focus on my circle of relating – giving time and attention to those in my circle of influence – family, friends, and co-workers. When all the circles of your life are operating appropriately, then there is balance in your life.
The Word of God promotes a balanced life. On 6 days God created – on the 7th day he rested. Jesus spent time in prayer with his Father; he stole away to rest and replinish so he could better train his disciples and minister to the masses. We are no better than God. As we wake up and proclaim “This is the day…Lord has made…be glad” ask him to order our steps in every area of our lives…not just on the job or at school…but at home as we interact with spouses, children, pets, extended family and as we are out interacting with society. No matter what happen THIS DAY…count it ALL joy as you journey through life .
As I count it all JOY, I will “joyfully ascend” into 2019 and beyond. What about you? What vision are you casting for 2019? Have you written it down – made it plain? Do you believe what you have written and are you determined to be intentional about pursuing it for God’s glory? Are you striving to live a balanced life for Christ? If you wake up with a THIS is the DAY mindset God will guide your footsteps. Remember EVERY thing you do must be done with the mindset of being God’s Representative.
Historically I would be characterized as extremely impatient; attempting to control what I cannot control which frustrated me all the more. What a difference a year makes? I am into my second year of pastoring and I notice a difference in me and my friends and associates have expressed they notice a difference as well. When you turn your agenda over to God – when you wake up EVERY DAY proclaiming THIS is the DAY that the Lord has made – not me or you – but the Lord had made and I will rejoice (regardless as to what is going on) and be glad in it, then the Creator, the Alpha & Omega will direct me and he will direct you on what he would have you to do to live your best life for God’s glory this day…right now. God will show up in the small things…like flight delays.
On Friday, 12/21 I was excited about heading home for Christmas. I worked that morning but I was scheduled to fly out at 4:24pm connecting thru Charlotte (CLT) to land in Raleigh-Durham (RDU) airport at 9:33pm. Before I left home I got an email that the flight was delayed about fifteen minutes and as I was on the way to the airport I got a message that the flight was delayed about an hour which meant I would miss my connection in CLT and possible have to spend the night in the airport as there we no more flights until the morning. I changed to a 5:40 a.m. flight the next day. While I was still at home eating breakfast I got an email that the flight was delayed until 9:20 a.m. I went back to bed. Later when I got up I was prayerful that there would be no further delays. I left Memphis at 9:20 a.m. as re-scheduled. However, my connection was not until 4:37pm so once I landed, I checked the monitors for earlier flights. There was a 1:00pm leaving from gate E14a. When got there, the gate had been changed to E34 but I explained to the agent at E14a what I was trying to do. When the agent at E14a helped me he said, “I see you’ve been waiting since yesterday…well let me do THIS”.
He gave me standby boarding pass and said the flight would start boarding at 12:30pm. I went to gate E34 and I sat patiently; waiting at gate E34 for the boarding process to begin. I was too far away to read the board to see where I was on the standby list. When I heard them call the final groups I walked closer and saw that Wilker, J was at the top of the list highlighted in green with a ✔…I was no longer on the wait list but I had a guaranteed seat. When I approached the counter I received a boarding pass with an exit row, window seat. Ain’t God good! Throughout the process I didn’t complain. I did not make a post on FB until I was onboard the final leg thanking God for his grace and mercy keeping me. Yes, it was his grace and mercy.
I had a friend to walk me through my delay on Friday and Saturday. On Friday we went to Dave & Buster’s and then had dinner. On Saturday they stayed at the airport until I made it through security in Memphis. It reminded me of travel before 9/11 when your friends and family could go with you to the gate and stay with you until the plane took off which is exactly what my parents used to do when I first began to fly. I asked my friend to pray when I was on standby because I wasn’t sure I would hold up with a 4 1/2 layover after my week of little to no uninterrupted sleep. When the agent at E34 concluded her pre-board talk she said, “My name is Mercy; let me know if you need any assistance”. I knew right then before I saw the board I was getting on that plane. That’s why I wasn’t anxious, that’s why I wasn’t worried. The Lord has given me patience. I will not complain. Instead I count it all joy. That day just like THIS DAY was made by the Lord and I chose to rejoice and be glad.
And how could I not rejoice because the lady boarding in front of me had a lap baby named Isaiah. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed in Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”. Christmas 2018 may be behind us but the joy of the Lord is my strength ALL year long. Be intentional today and every day to recognize “THIS is the DAY”. As you goal set, vision cast, plan, resolve for 2019…proclaim every day is a “THIS Is the DAY” and rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:24).