Work in Progress

Last week a friend of mine posted a blog listing out 20 things he learned in his twentiesI was fortunate enough to be in the office when he was working on it, so it was cool going back and forth hearing the things he was working through. It’s a great read, so I’d encourage you to check it out (each item is short, direct & honest).

Seeing him process through it all has really caused me to wonder what I would put down if I were making a list of things I’ve learned. What have I learned… actually.. have I learned anything? Am I growing at all? Or am I just getting older.. letting the years pass by.

Early last year, I heard a friend share something really profound (and honestly terrifying). He said something like, “I’m afraid that one day I’ll wake up 50 years older.. and look back at a life where I did nothing.” This became an ongoing theme among our group of friends. The fear of coasting through life.. maintaining things instead of actually doing something.

So usually.. I hear this challenge and think, “Yeah, you’re right! Let’s get up and do something!” Like I need to go be a hero or fight some battle somewhere. My natural inclination is that “doing something” of significance = being a hero somehow. But, I don’t think that’s really how it is.

So, I’m still processing through how/if I’ve grown – but at least there’s one thing I can put down: God is THE hero, I’m not. And I can’t be even if I tried.

I’m realizing that the key question for me right now about this whole idea of growth, learning, “doing something” with my life, or whatever you want to call it – is this: Do I look more like Jesus?

And practically this means… is He my hero? Am I trying to be like Him? Am I following Him? Am I prioritizing intimacy with the Father like He did? Am I interacting with people like He does? Am I valuing people because who they are in God, or because of their status and how they benefit me? Am I responding to brokenness, rejection, disappointment, suffering and pain like Him? Are people experiencing glimpses of life, hope & love when they’re with me? Are they being challenged by realities of who God is and our need for Him? And so on…

No question we’ll have many MANY lessons to learn regardless of what stage of life we’re in, but for me, I’ll try to put this question at center stage for now:

How much do I look like Jesus?

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.” Philippians 1:6