The Next Decade

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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.

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WHY DO I EXIST FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS?  

Great question.

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.

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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.

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“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chron 20:12)

Your son,

Jonathan.

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52 thoughts on “The Next Decade

    • Jonathan Camac August 7, 2017 / 12:49 pm

      Spot on Heather! “Save me so I can praise you” (Psalm 9:14) Grace to man. Glory to God. The meaning of all. The cry of our lives!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Heather Davis August 7, 2017 / 12:55 pm

        Yes! Though not as young, I’m entering a new phase of life as well, and I echo your prayer!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac August 7, 2017 / 1:17 pm

      That glorious future has a name. And his name is Jesus! John 17:3. Thanks Viviene 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vince700 August 7, 2017 / 8:14 pm

        Jonathan, your The Next Decade blog touch me. I too at your age, well 22 came to know God’s calling on my life after receiving Jesus as my Savior, God, Friend and guide. I’m 67 now and I’ve have been blessed to be used by my redeemer. He has used my life in the USA, South America for 16 years and Spain for 4 years. If you live in the Maryland, Dc area I’d like to buy you launch. https://afreegift.us/about-2/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Camac August 7, 2017 / 8:21 pm

        Glad to hear it Vince700! A long life lived in and for Christ is a massive testimony in and of itself. I live in Australia, but thanks for the offer haha 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vince700 August 7, 2017 / 8:25 pm

        Continue forward my dear brother. There’s nothing in this life that gives more contentment or more joy than following Jesus. He (as you know) is the light of the world, meaning He is the light of our life. Shine on till He returns for us. Blessings…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. CLEvangelism August 7, 2017 / 1:27 pm

    I pray the, “Lord, help me,” prayer a lot. So far, your life has gone a lot better than mine during the same period of time on this planet. I hope it continues to go well for you and your “might” family.
    Happy (early) birthday and best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lordus Boke August 7, 2017 / 1:36 pm

    Jonathan — your mature words in Christ are beyond those tender 20 years you’ve thus be given! If only I could of seen Jesus like this at that same mile marker! Yes, I was saved but my mature walk was just over the horizon – yours I consider is far more advanced at this same age. I indeed see Jesus in that work in you – in my opinion this is rare, to have a young man so filled with the love of our Lord. So, yes – Jonathan enjoy our Lord, tell us the stories He shares with you. And give us more hope to believe when our roads become crooked, tell us of his faithfulness – point to God’s Holy Heaven and remind us He is here with us now — in this place.. Be that cup of cool water for battle weary souls. We need your youthful hope in our Great God! We need to look over our shoulders and see God bringing up godly young men and women to carry the torch further on when we no longer count another birthday. So from this little girl in the great state of Missouri, in the ole U.S. of A. — Happy Birthday, Youngin, I sincerely enjoy knowing God has placed you on my road for a while, and tell your Mum for me I said “Thanks, for bringing this child into the world!” Your Sister In Christ, Lordus Boke.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Billy Crocker August 7, 2017 / 6:56 pm

    Great post! Thank you for the insight. Enjoy your birthday! I just turned 30 a few weeks ago. Fun times!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lisalawlor August 7, 2017 / 9:07 pm

    Wow, what the Lord can do with a young and talented man willing to serve Him. You don’t know me, I felt compelled to write. I’m 37, and it has been a very long journey since I was 20. Hard work, pain, losses, unmet expectations are part of the journey in our development of character & wisdom. I was thinking the other day about how long it takes to climb a mountain. Times that by 1000 for the journey of life. “Are we there yet” when we’ve barely started. I have respect for those who are up over 60, 70, 80 years – what a very, very, very long journey they’ve been on. “They will walk and not become weary” in Isaiah 40:31 takes on a new meaning when you’ve been on the rugged pathway for a long time. But on the flip, life is also very short – it depends on perspective. You have a beautiful writing talent, I enjoy reading your words. As I drifted to sleep last night, I was considering how it is the Lord who has brought me to where I am, even though in my human thinking I tend to conclude it is me who makes my pathway. So thank you for your words today that are concreting this thought again. Let’s remain humble under His hand as we step along the path of life. As we age, we fly like the eagle in youth; then we run and don’t get tired in middle age; then we walk and don’t become weary in old age. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac August 7, 2017 / 9:13 pm

      Love the reflection Lisa!! You could almost make this comment into a separate blog post! Thanks heaps for stopping by 🙂

      Like

  5. mjwriter August 7, 2017 / 9:35 pm

    Wonderful post and prayer. Glad to hear of your commitment to God.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. tilsunset August 7, 2017 / 10:00 pm

    I am encouraged by your posts to seek all the more wholeheartedly after our Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac August 7, 2017 / 11:43 pm

      Stoked to hear it tilsunset! Thanks for setting aside the time to read it 🙂

      Like

  7. Mia Randria August 8, 2017 / 5:37 am

    Happy Birthday and God bless you! I am 35 but you sound way mature than your age. I was very moved and inspired by your post and your passion for Christ. I praise God for using people like you to share His love. Keep running the race!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac August 8, 2017 / 7:42 am

      Thanks Mia!! Pretty amazing that God uses broken and flawed people like us to proclaim his message of hope and joy in Jesus 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. LiveLoveLaugh August 9, 2017 / 12:42 am

    Jonathan, what a wonderful blog! I am blown away by your insight and love of Jesus! I thank God for you and I am looking forward to following your blog (this was my first experience here and I am excited to look into your past blog entries as well). Keep up the good work and if we never meet this side of Heaven I look forward to meeting you there. God bless you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac August 9, 2017 / 2:13 am

      Glad you got something form the post LiveLoveLaugh! Either on this side of life or in the next 🙂 You too!!

      Like

  9. one.random.word August 10, 2017 / 9:28 pm

    Thank you for this post! A perspective surrendered to the Lord is always inspiring, especially from a young person. God bless your next decade! –Libby

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac August 12, 2017 / 9:14 am

      Glad you got something out of it! Thanks heaps. I’ll definitely be praying it for the next ten years. God bless!

      Like

    • Jonathan Camac August 14, 2017 / 6:28 am

      Thanks Matthew! God sure has – “into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4) No amount of exclamation marks can make that any louder!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. gpavants August 15, 2017 / 1:09 am

    Hello Jonathan,

    You are entering a great and amazing decade. I always said that from 20-30 you are taking on so many huge changes in your life. Enjoy what each moment, good, bad or otherwise brings.

    In Christ,

    Gary

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ifyouwouldlistensite August 15, 2017 / 10:00 am

    Wow, this is lovely! Life, especially our relationship and purpose with God, is a journey and it goes on in stages all as you said working together for good and for his great plans so we’ve got to decide to just go with him even when we can’t see where nor how knowing he knows and we are to love and trust him because he loves us and has our best interests

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac August 15, 2017 / 12:55 pm

      Spot on! That’s where faith factors as huge 🙂 Romans 1:16-17. Thanks heaps for your time and considered response!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. trulygiftedsite August 16, 2017 / 2:22 am

    I am truly speechless because this is exactly what I was talking about in my post, “My Birthday, God’s Day.” God is so good and why should I waste my life. Turning 18 for me took me by surprise. Wow! That’s crazy! Great job.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac August 16, 2017 / 3:29 am

      I read yours just earlier! Your post was so real and honest. Love seeing that sorta stuff. Keep writing 🙂

      Like

      • trulygiftedsite August 16, 2017 / 11:00 am

        God is truly good and He is perfect! Your post was absolutely directed by God.

        Liked by 1 person

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