I am currently feeling a bit challenged by my worldview. It is incredibly hard to maintain a genuinely good perspective. In some ways I sometimes find it hard not to turn into a bit of a moaner—after all what is there not to like from a good whing?
Well, what I don’t like is the way that whinging strips me of energy and motivation. It makes me much less effective and a whole lot less positive.
At the back end of 2019, the national CVM team got together for 24 hours of reflection, vision reorientation and generally for a tactical reset. Beechy shared some thoughts on being ‘relentlessly optimistic’ and he shared the famous Billy Graham quote:
“I have read the last page of the Bible and it all turns out well!”
It reminded of working with Krish Kandiah, and remembering that he would often say “…if it hasn’t turned out well yet, then trust God because it is not the end of the story.”
Let me share with you an observation that has come from over 15 years of being a family man. When I let the world get on top of me, when I let people get under my skin, when I lose a sense of hope and get frustrated I always feel really grumpy. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it begins to reveal a residue of latent anger that will overflow into all my relationships.
It is at these moments that not only do I totally fail as a Kingdom pioneer but I also turn into a bit of a rubbish husband and father. On top of that my dog owner skills take a hammering too.
In short, my negativity, lack of optimism and general loss of ‘it’s OK God has got this!’ can have some pretty dramatic consequences for everyone within my sphere of influence.
Now, when I compare that to living with a relentless optimism, an unwaivering belief in the goodness of God and in the steadfastness of His grace and love, things always look very different.
When I keep my focus on the Lord, my wife and son laugh a lot. My wife sits back and watches as I lock horns with my 6 year son and 13 year old dog. She knows that I see the bigger picture and she knows that whatever they do, I will handle it well because being a husband and a dad is what I most enjoy and it is something that I do best when I trust God for all the outcomes. My wife can always tell when that is my perspective, but she is also very aware of those moments when I lose that perspective.
This is what I have learned over many years, my family is slightly bonkers but full of love. Wales (where I serve) is starving hungry for the goodness of God but at the same time is utterly lost. Pioneering a national ministry called CVM Cymru in both Cymraeg (Welsh) and English is both the toughest gig and best thing that I have ever committed to. In all of that the non-negotiable is staying close to God, and living life His way becomes utterly imperative.
In pretty much every prayer that I pray over my life I now pray the following phrase “Dyma fi, anfon fi!” It is from Isaiah 6 and you may recognise it in it’s English translation “Here am I, send me!” I really want to serve God, to love my family and to love life—it is all I want. I will make every sacrifice that is necessary to do this and to live this way. And then, when my work is done and my life is over I just want to fall over the line with nothing left in the tank, having given everything for God, for my family and for my nation. For everyone and everything that I love.
If we genuinely want God to send us anywhere, we will need to learn to remain ‘relentlessly optimistic’. It is impossible to serve the Lord well with half your heart. And, let me tell you this—unless we are the real deal, authentic to the core, the men we want to reach for Christ will see right through us within minutes.
It is just that simple!!!