I am getting older. If you don’t believe me, just ask my kids! Let’s just say I don’t have the same lean, muscular physique that I used to have! My mind seems to be going too. I struggle to remember names more than I used to (and that’s when I’m talking to my kids!). This week I travelled to Birmingham to speak at a conference. Only being away one night, I decided to travel light. Just one suit jacket and one pair of dress shoes. Upon my arrival at the airport, I happened to glance down at my shoes . . . two different kinds! Thank goodness they were both black! One pair I had stopped using years ago. I had to speak in front of over 700 people with two extremely different looking shoes upon my feet. At this rate, my kids will have to start sending a nurse and a valet with me on my speaking engagements!
One good thing about getting older is that you begin to gain better perspective on life. You begin to appreciate what really matters and what does not. In your youth, you can be consumed with things that, in time, no longer seem important. People matter. God’s activity is important. Programs, possessions, status, getting your way, don’t. Jesus told the parable about the man who was extremely rich and consumed with increasing his possessions. But he died suddenly and lost everything. Jesus warned: “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21).
I work with Christian business leaders. Often they confess that they spent their earlier years consumed with climbing the corporate ladder while neglecting what mattered. Now they live with regrets. Even pastors can forget what matters in the midst of a plethora of activities that seem to be constantly pressing upon them.
Recently Lisa and I were spending a few days at a conference center. We stopped by the bookstore and picked up a few things. As I handed the saleslady my credit card, she noticed my last name. Upon learning I was related to Henry, she informed me that she must tell me a story. Several years ago she had a friend who lost her baby after carrying the child almost full term. She was devastated. The woman relating the story wrote a letter to my father to tell him what had happened and asked him to pray for her grieving friend. Apparently my father did more than that. He had his staff track down the woman’s address and phone number and my father called the grieving mother. They talked and prayed. The phone call made a lasting impression. A simple thing. But it was important. I would never have learned that story had I not dropped in to that store that day. Over the course of our lives we have the opportunity to do what is important or to allow ourselves to become consumed by the pressing but unimportant matters. I pray you will allow the Holy Spirit to guide you each day to that which He knows actually matters.
Speaking of what matters, I will be celebrating my two son’s graduations this month. Mike will graduate from seminary and Daniel from college. Two big milestones. Mike is looking at serving in a church as a singles’ minister. Daniel is headed to Golden Gate seminary in the Fall.
I’d appreciate your prayers in the coming months. I’ll be speaking in revival meetings in South Africa and also providing training for young national leaders from across Europe. I am also revising and expanding our book, Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on to God’s Agenda. God has used it to bless and challenge many leaders and we pray the revised and updated book will continue to encourage leaders to be God-centered as well. Please pray for my son Daniel as well as he will be marrying Sarah on June 26th. We are very happy for him! Pray also for BMI as we continue to develop our new leadership network. We hope to be able to bring far more resources to spiritual leaders around the world once it is up and running. Thanks for your prayers!