I will admit to you that for a long time I had a problem being present in my life. What I mean is that I was always looking to the next thing, feeling like I would be fully satisfied at the next milestone.
For example, when I knew I wanted to pursue vocational ministry, my mindset became “I’ll be happy when I work in a church.”
Then I worked part-time, so the mindset became “I’ll be happy when I can work in the church full time.”
When that happened, the mindset changed to “I’ll be satisfied when I’m a top tier leader.”
On and on it goes. Always hoping for the next thing. Not celebrating, not being grateful, but continually longing.
I see this all around me:
The church leader that will feel settled when their church crosses that elusive attendance barrier.
The woman who will feel content when she has her first (or another child).
The person who claims satisfaction will be found in earning just a few thousand dollars more per year.
Continually looking to the horizon for a sense of significance and identity will cause you to stray from the narrow path.
When you are not present, you will…
- suffer from insecurity (what if the next milestone never happens?)
- live in scarcity (what happens if I lose what I do have?)
- create division (why did someone else get what I deserve?)
After I burned out and subsequently began to develop my identity in Christ, I began to understand that the inability to be present – to be always longing for something else – was a symptom of the thirst of a misplaced identity.
With roots nourished in Christ, I began to see what was right in front of me and the natural result was…
- increased influence as I did not look beyond the people placed in my path
- contentment as I became aware that my worth was not based on results or circumstance
- clear purpose as I realized that ministry happens everywhere, not just as a church staff member
- significant growth as I was rooted in Truth rather than in what was next
Looking to the next thing is another way to take your eyes off Christ.
What is the “next thing” that you are hoping will bring a sense of fulfillment, security, or completeness?
How has your mindset suffered as a result?
I am an author, discipleship coach, and speaker who helps followers of Jesus gain perspective on their identities so they can experience transformation in their decisions, behaviors and relationships and live in freedom. My book Tree of Lies: Transforming Decisions, Behaviors, and Relationships By Gaining Perspective On Your Identity in Christ available on Amazon (http://amzn.to/2bjMRyx) or Barnes and Noble (http://bit.ly/2c0q62I). Visit TreeofLies.com for free resources.
Services I offer are one-on-one coaching, group coaching, speaking at organizations/churches, workshops on marriage/discipleship/leadership, and church retreats. For more info, click here to contact me.