Five years ago when I began to detect a faint but persistent enticing to head in another ministry direction, there was no urgency. It was began as a intriguing feeling of "what if?" and interesting possibility - a window cracked open, and while I saw dimly, I also saw glimmers of a new leg of the journey for Tricia and me. An unfamiliar potential came knocking. God sent an invitation.
5 years later, a palpable sense of urgency abides, taking permanent residence in me. I will finish my race running as hard as my 63 year old legs will allow because God has graciously granted this task to me (and others at imagine). I know without a doubt the missional Kingdom way is my spiritual, ecclesiological imperative; the clock is ticking, and I still have far to go before I can set down my bag and rest.
Some of this urgency has to do with being 63. I am not old in heart, but I am aging; old is a learned attitude; aging is an inevitable reality for all living beings. I know I am young in spirit, heart, attitude, and will. It's a different variety of young than for a 33 year-old, for instance. It's largely attitudinal: possibility, potential, opportunity, hope, creativity and exploration still captivate my heart. Urgency keeps it all simmering.
Nevertheless, 63 has conditions through which my sense of urgency compels me:
- I have urgency because I tire sooner and it lasts longer if I don't take time to rest well.
- I have urgency because I am more aware the clock is ticking than when I was a younger man.
- I have urgency because there is a real sense of the physical/mental diminishing that inexorably overtakes everyone through the aging process, even if I take good care of myself.
- I have urgency because I want to keep in step with the Spirit on my watch and miss nothing he has for me before my last breath - time's a-wastin'.
- I have urgency because people desperately need the freeing truth, hope, and love in this world awash in such creeping darkness and inhumanity.
- I have urgency because I am in the early evening of my life, but the sun will set sooner than I realize perhaps.
- I have urgency because I want to hear my LORD greet me upon seeing him with, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Urgency with wisdom, grace, and love creates the possibility of true life in others.
Urgency fuels resolve and determination.
Urgency makes imperative the everyone's need for salvation, healing and true liberty.
Urgency blends a holy discontent with a need to "do something about this mess."
Urgency lends the perspective that we all only have so much timer to bring the Kingdom on our watch.
Urgency makes 63 seem not a day too soon to make a difference.
URGENCY IS A GIFT!