Where Will You Be in Ten Years?

by Andy Wood on April 8, 2010

in Five LV Laws, Principle of Legacy, Turning Points

It was a surprising experience – seeing old friends, and people I had said good-bye to almost ten years earlier in that south Mississippi town.  I was surprised at the warmth of their response.  I was surprised at the depth of their respect for me.  I was surprised at the intensity with which they prayed and expected good things from this youth retreat I was to lead.  I was surprised at how many names I remembered, and how natural it still felt to love them – even though I had not seen them in so long a time.

Needless to say, there was a rush of memories.  Like the time I borrowed Don’s reel-to-reel tape recorder, and he said to me at least three times, “Please lock it up in your office.”  I forgot.  Don didn’t.  He went back to check the church the next morning, and there was his tape recorder.  (Pause here to shudder). 

There were memories of the homes where we held Bible studies.  Memories of the King’s Inn – the Christian coffee house we started (the sign still hung outside the deserted building). 

I also was reminded of the married adult retreat I was asked to help lead while I was there – and wound up being the only single person on the trip.  This really entertained everyone when the other retreat leader was doing his session on marital intimacy.  I was not amused.

There were memories also of the intense periods of revival we experienced.  It started at youth camp, when the Holy Spirit began powerfully working in the lives of teenagers.  Many came to know Christ, and many more believers got some major things right in their lives.  It spread from there to the adults.  We went through a period of time in which someone was saved every day.  One night a youth choir from Kentucky came to do a concert, and when they finished their musical, four of them were saved.

Mostly I remembered the people whose lives I had touched, and whose lives had touched mine.  As I looked into the faces of teenagers who were three-to-five years old when I last saw them, I saw in their eyes the images of their older brothers and sisters.  Most of them are gone now, but some were still close by.  Nearly all had married at least once.  Nearly all had children.  Greg was in Atlanta, Gerald somewhere in Florida, Lisa was in Texas.  A whole bunch had scattered throughout Mississippi.  Mike was in the ministry, Mason ran a farm, Buddy went to prison, Scotty committed suicide.  Some of them were deacons, some were devils.  Either way, they were still surprisingly important to me.

I was only in Lumberton for a year.  I had written off my ministry there as a growing time for me, when we saw a few good things happen, but what was otherwise forgettable for them. 

Boy, was I wrong about them. 

Boy, was I wrong about me. 

I couldn’t help but wonder where these teenagers would be ten years later.  Who would be the next missionaries, or the next millionaires?  Who would go to jail, who would go to college, who would go to heaven? 

I also wonder the same thing about you.  Ten years from now, will where will you be?  What will you be doing?  What kinds of scars will you carry?  What kinds of battles will you fight and win? 

What difference will the days you are experiencing now make in your life then?

One thing is sure.  There has certainly not been a reaping problem.  Those people who have inherited the whirlwind were sowing to the wind ten years ago.  Those who are reaping corruption from the flesh were sowing to the flesh ten years ago.  And those who sowed to the Spirit ten years ago have reaped what only the Spirit can produce. 

Don’t be surprised if ten years from now, the same will be true of you.

Where will you be in ten years?  Wherever the path you’re on today takes you.

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