Sometimes I look back objectively and stand amazed that I’ve gotten to where I am. It has been in the words of the old Beatles song, a long and winding road. But a road well-traveled with lessons learned along the way.
Back in the Eighty’s, when the church world was reeling from religious scandals of epic proportion, we were pastoring a large church in a small town, and the talk of the town at that. A man stopped me one day and said, “We’re going to have you followed. We’re going to find out what you’re doing.” I responded, “Boy, are they going to be bored.” I had nothing to worry about—I don’t live a boring life but I do live a consistent life.
The pastor of a mega church in a major city mentioned a fellow minister in his city that was facing prison due to an unfortunate set of circumstances and said, “You know him from your early days, why don’t you reach out to him and be an encouragement. Some of us would but can’t and since no one here knows who you are it won’t hurt you. (I’m not sure that was a complement!) I made the connection and for the next six weeks he and his wife, Connie and I had a very enjoyable dinner every Friday night. We ate at the best restaurants in a city of great restaurants, and glad for the encouragement, though I tried, he never let me pick up the bill. That was a long time ago. The truth is, even if people in the city had known who I was it wouldn’t have hurt me—I don’t live a boring life, but I do live a consistent life. There is something to be said for living a consistent life.
I want to share three things with you that may seem boring but have a big payoff. I’ll share some of my pay-offs at the end.
When I was an executive officer of the International Congress on the Local Church we would have a yearly board meeting, in January, somewhere warm. (Warm in January is a pay-off in itself!) The meeting would begin with everyone around the table telling of what they were dealing with, and most of what they were dealing with was negative. They would get to me and I’d give my report, “The bills are paid, we’ve seen some growth, and I’m encouraged.” After a few board meetings they quit asking me how I was doing. Stability is a wonderful thing.
Stability creates opportunities. My then secretary knocked on my door and said, “There’s an elderly couple here that would like to talk to you. They said that you don’t know them but that they know of you.” They walked in carrying a wrinkled paper bag. They explained that I didn’t know them but that they were the last remaining members of a small Pentecostal church and that though they didn’t know me they knew of me and that my reputation was a stable one. Opening the bag they drew out the corporate papers of their church, along with the appropriate documents deeding their church to me. Stability brought opportunity. Years
later I was given a large church in another city for the same reason. Cultivate stability. Stability creates opportunities.
That paragon of wisdom Solomon wrote, “A just weight and balance are the Lord’s.” Stability requires balance, and balance, quite honestly, is boring. Until you get out of balance. Then balance becomes quite exciting.
When I taking my flying lessons I learned the importance of balance. Nose high and sooner or later you will stall—that means the plane stops flying—not a good thing. If you’re nose low sooner or later you’ll hit the ground. Again—not a good thing. So the aviator is taught to balance the aircraft. Which is—once again—a boring process—until you’re trying to take off and the plane is not responding properly, then once again you’re reminded of how good balance it.
Live a balanced life. Between work and leisure. In your relationships. With your finances. Eat right. Get regular exercise. And live a life (third word) of—
You’ve probably picked up on the fact that I enjoy good food and fine wine. You may imagine that I struggle with my weight and worry about the wine. No worries either way because a long time ago I discovered the power of moderation. “Let your moderation be known to all men the Lord is at hand.” You may have read that in the context of the second coming of Christ but I suggest that it might be more beneficial to read it as the nearness of Christ. Moderation is a good thing—it will keep you out of trouble.
I have known more than one person that has discovered liberty then turned liberty into license to their own hurt. Go for the gusto. Live life to the fullest—God gives us “all things richly to enjoy.” But live a life of stability, balance, and moderation.
I said that I would share some of my pay-offs. Yours will be different but here are a few of mine. A happy home life. Peace. Reasonably good children that have produced reasonably good grandchildren (Grandchildren are God’s reward for not killing your children.) Prosperity. Real friends. I made a list one day of all the notables in the charismatic world that I’ve worked with, eaten with, and known—it topped fifty. I’ve eaten in the finest restaurant, driven some very fine cars, and lived well. These are just a few of the pay-offs that stability, balance, and moderation have brought. What are yours?
When you join me “Behind The Door” I’m going to share seven life lessons with you that will cause you to live your best life ever. It’s powerful stuff that will help you to get from where you are to where you want to be in life. If you have this month’s password you can go there right now. If you don’t have the password hit the “Sowing” button and sow a seed of any size and the password will be automatically sent via email. The default setting is twenty dollars,
some sow more, a few less. Remember “What you sow is what you grow” and in the words of the late, great Rev. Ike “One times one is still one.” The password is good for the rest of the month and “Behind The Door” changes each week, so write it down.