[PHOTOS BY: JENNIFER HOPPER]
No, I’m not about to reveal the secrets of curing soggy marijuana leaves. (Hippies).
This week I had the joy of speaking for a YWAM School of Worship in Yverdon. Pictured here with my dear friend and translator Sylvain Freymond (also one of Switzerland’s most beloved worship leaders and songwriters), I shared on accessing God’s heart of creativity and principles of group leadership. Teaching in this format – a pair of two-hour classes each day – is something I look forward to, and something I’ve become good at.
But I wasn’t always good at it.
Ten years ago I was asked to teach eight-hours a day for five days straight in northern France. I was scared. Mortified would be a better word. I compiled the notes of every sermon I’d ever preached and scribbled countless reminders of sermons I’d heard preached growing up. I thought for sure that I’d share everything I’d ever learned in first two-hour block.
Back then I was a nervous wreck. Today I’m thrilled for the opportunity.
That’s because some of the greatest joys in my life have only recently been discovered.
That may not seem like a very meaningful statement, but given the fact that our culture largely broadcasts what you should be enjoying right now, waiting for things is hardly status quo, nor is the process of building long-term expectation.
Have sex now. Make lots of money now. Be popular now. Get what you want now. Don’t wait. And if you do wait, you’re missing out on everything.
But acting prematurely has some serious side-affects.
A pot that decides it should be filled with water before it’s fired in a kiln becomes a pile of watery clay by the end of the day. No matter how ready it thinks it is, the potter knows the vessel is simply incapable of fulfilling its purpose without engaging in the process of development.
Sure, I should have been happy with the opportunity to preach for a week ten years ago – and to a certain extent I was – but it wasn’t enjoyable. I needed time, coaching, and experience before I was truly ready to look at the invitation and discover the joy of doing it.
Becoming a husband and father has been much the same process. Oh, how I argued with God countless times, telling him I was ready for marriage, pleading (and pushing) for my spouse to be revealed. But he knew the vessel needed to be fired. And to a certain extent, I’m still being fired.
God is never late and he’s rarely early. He knows what he’s doing, and he will not be held hostage by pop culture or our adolescent demands.
Just remember that some of the greatest, most enjoyable moments in your life have yet to arrive. Recognizing the process is just as much a part of the arrival helps steady our impatience and temper the steel of our expectations.
Plus, being a squishy heap of soggy clay is downright embarrassing. Get fired and be useful long-term. ch: