Tomorrow is my birthday.
August 8th. 1997. At 10:10 am. 20 years ago tomorrow, I started my journey in this out-of-womb world called planet earth. And my parents began their journey with the boy who is still by far and away their favourite child to date (alongside my brother and sister).
On the way to the hospital, Dad (driving) and Mum (just hours away from giving birth) drove past a church. The church had a sign out the front. It said this: A baby is God’s way of saying life goes on. I love this. This is the awesome miracle of us. Life goes on because God is good. All life is made possible because God wills it. God breathes it. God gives it.
I turn 20 years old in less than 24 hours. And here’s the thing: I do not intend on wasting the rest of my life. I am convinced that the unwasted life has one all-satisfying goal. To make much of Christ. This is how I intend on living. So here it is. My journal entry.
My prayer for the next 10 years.
WHY DO I EXIST FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS?
A lot can happen in ten years. Lets recap the last two decades. From age 0-9, I learnt the basics of life. Fundamental stuff. Talking, walking, eating, toilet training, shoe tying, socialising, writing, and many other things. This took me through to Grade 4 of school.
Then from age 10-19, I built on those things. I made awesome friends. I held (although begrudgingly at times) positions as class captain, campus leader and college captain. I failed many times. I played a range of sports – soccer, football, cricket, netball, running, rugby tag, pedal prix, and school carnivals – where I found a real interest in cycling. I was given part-time and casual jobs. I found the love of Jesus, which as I soon discovered, actually found me first. I got baptised in Grade 10. I have been through and am now leading at youth group. I started this blog. I finished school. I joined University.
And now a new chapter begins.
A lot could happen between the ages of 20-30. This is where humans start doing things. Significant things. I might have moved out of home. State. Maybe even country. Heck, I might have a family. I might be working as a full-time teacher. You’ll notice I use the word might a lot here. Because truth is, I don’t know. I don’t even know if I’ll live past tomorrow, or even live out today. There is much of my future that I simply do not know.
But I do know one thing – I don’t plan on wasting it.
I do not know what will happen. I do not know when these things will happen. And I do not know where I will be taken to. But I do know who will be making them happen. And if I know who is working all things together (Romans 8:28), then I have a reason why.
This is why I exist.
And so, the rest of this will serve as a prayer.
Lord, I know that my life is not my own. As the prophet Jeremiah says, “We are not able to plan our own course” (Jeremiah 10:23). “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). “For from him and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:36). And “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life” (2 Peter 1:3).
In you is all wisdom and knowledge and joy and energy and power and strength and love and grace and justice and truth. In the words of John Piper, you are the vesuvius of all these things – containing all, and bursting to spill over with provision of everything we need. And so I have one simple plea:
Lord, help me.
Help me Father. I cannot do this in my own strength. You know how inadequate I feel. You know how inadequate I am. And so I pray in-line with the Psalmists, that “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labour in vain” (Psalm 127:1). LORD, unless you are building this life of mine, I am living it in vain. So Father, I trust in your willing and working on the construction site of my life. Help me to rest in the fact that “The LORD will work out his plans for my life” (Psalm 138:8).
I’m calling on you, the Vesuvius of all things, to burst with powerful overflow the Spirit of your Son in my life for the next ten years. I am trusting you to provide. In all things. For the next ten years. Jobs. Career. Sport. Friendships. Family. Interaction. Life. Death. In all things, give me the strength to put a magnifying glass on you (Psalm 34:3).
Only one legacy lasts. Only one funeral message reverberates into eternity. Jesus Christ: magnified. So Lord, may my birth and my funeral proclaim the same church-sign message – that in Jesus there is life. That in God life goes on. May the sadness of suffering and death be ever tainted with the enduring, secure, all-pervasive joy of life in Christ. Holding close the words of Romans 8 and Psalm 16. I pray this for the next ten years:
Help me live a life rooted in the all-satisfying reward of being more close to Jesus.
“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chron 20:12)