On Turning 35

Ten years ago I turned 25. It was a Sunday and I remember coming home from church where I was serving as a youth pastor, strapping on my running shoes and going out for a 5 mile run. I don’t know how else to describe my emotions but I was frustrated with how my life was going. Don’t get me wrong — I wasn’t upset with the fact that I was married or about who I was married to. I wasn’t frustrated with my job, my calling or the opportunities I had to serve at that church. I wasn’t even mad about where I lived or the social interactions I had on a regular basis. I was just frustrated because I didn’t think enough was happening in my life. I remember praying on the run — really just letting God have it — and saying “I thought I would have accomplished more by now. I thought I would have had more opportunities. I thought we were going to change the world! What gives?!?!”

I honestly believe I heard God speak to my heart and essentially he said — “just chill out for a minute. You have been a real, self sufficient adult for just over 3 years. You have a job, a wife, you’ve lead people to faith, you’ve spoken to thousands, you’ve inspired a mini-movement amongst teens and adults — I am using you. You have at least 20x the years you’ve lived as an adult ahead of you — if you allow me to use you in those years the ways I’ve used you in these 3 you’ll live out the calling I have on your life. Just chill out.”

I tried to chill out.

Five years ago I turned 30. I don’t remember the day of the week but I remember I was on vacation with my wife’s family at the beach in Delaware. I remember taking an inventory of my life — of all the things that happened over the last five years. We had moved, I had earned a master’s degree, we had started a family and had a beautiful baby girl, I was about to leave a good job to start a new church. I felt as if I had really made some serious steps over those five years and felt pretty confident that I had made the most of them. I felt satisfied that I was at least achieving things I thought were important by that stage of life.

Today I turn 35. I’m sitting on a balcony in Bermuda on an extremely generous vacation with my wife’s family. I have no way to describe how I feel about turning 35 than to say I am full of joy. I’d be lying to you if I told you that I wasn’t bummed out by the grey hair I’m finding everywhere or that the back pain I have today doesn’t freak me out about how I’ll be feeling in 5 or 10 or 25 years but I am full of joy today. I have 2 beautiful daughters and a beautiful wife. I am living out my calling as a pastor, as a coach, as a spiritual entrepreneur. I am surrounded by more friends than I can remember. I really believe my personal life with Christ is growing and that I am hearing Him speak and using me more now than I ever have in my life. Beyond all that I sense that the Lord has some exciting things in store for me, for my family and for Renew Communities in the years ahead.

This morning I was reading through some of my favorite passages in the Bible and spent time in Hebrews 10, 11 & 12. I read this verse about Abraham and it stood out to me — it gave me a chuckle and hope all at once. Here’s what the author of Hebrews said…

12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

I’m far from as good as dead — but honestly 35 sounds old to me — it’s not an age I ever imagined being — but if God can pull that out of a man good as dead I’m pretty confident he can use me to do whatever it is He wants to do — and I’m ready for it!

So, today, no matter how old you are or how you’re feeling about where your life is or where it’s going may you be filled with the joy that only He can bring knowing that if he can bring a great nation out of a guy who was as good as dead he can do whatever it is He’s made you and called you to do no matter how the last 3, 5, 10 or 20 years have gone. May you experience His fullness and as you age may you find confidence not in what you’ve done, or what He’s done in you but may you (and may I) find confidence in the only one Who we can really be confident in!

Originally published at andrewsikora.wordpress.com on August 11, 2014.