Erasing the Whiteboard

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“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”

Colossians 2:14

Managing a multi-million dollar waste management business developed my passion for setting and pursuing goals. It taught me how to ride the wave of supply and demand and anticipate profitable opportunities. I also learned costly lessons from NOT looking ahead.

I learned you couldn’t be satisfied with short term planning to be a success. A wise entrepreneur will always push and set goals to work toward in the coming years, and even decades.

Beyond My Control

Working as an assistant pastor has reminded me that tending the Lord’s flock cannot be scheduled. People are spiritual creatures that must come to Christ and learn His Book on their own. You can’t “make them grow” any more than you can make the sun rise the sky.

The Lord’s work is also subject to the seasons of the Holy Spirit. “He hath made everything beautiful in his time:” (Ecclesiastes 3:11a) Just as Moses knew the will of God- to free Israel from Egypt- but blew it for 40 years because he took matters into his own hands too early, so I too have forced the will of God. Right thing, wrong time.

But I still have long-term goals for the ministry God has given me. I keep a whiteboard across from my desk in the church office with 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year goals. I keep them in front of me to bring constantly to my mind and to prayer.

Some of those goals have been there since my first day as an assistant pastor. While erasing some accomplished goals from 2021, I discovered that the dry-erase ink had been on the board so long it was no longer “dry-erase!” That got my attention.

Out of the Way

I recalled this verse, a great verse on how God justified us at salvation. But God didn’t erase the ordinances entirely- we still have them preserved in the Old Testament. Not only are they preserved, but we are encouraged to read them. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.(Romans 15:4)

There’s no goal you have

that’s so valuable

it’s worth putting God off.

Often in the face of spiritual factors that can’t be changed on schedule, we get discouraged with other unexpected progress and blessings God sends our way. Even though goals are meant to keep us from falling in a rut, we often face new years with new goals that tend to become a rut in their own way. They’ve been there so long they have left a groove in our mind that nothing else can be truly successful because of them.

What’s dried on the whiteboard of your mind? A relationship you’ve been trying to restore? A loved one you’ve been trying to win to Christ? Health or finance related goals that hang around so long as Dave Ramsey says, “you give them a name?” What big event on your list keeps getting bumped because life just keeps happening?

I got out a cleaning spray and began to work on the dried-on goals on the board. I’m not giving up on them, but I needed to take them out of the way. Just like the ordinances, I will review them, learn from them, and try to live up to them. But I also understand that the Lord’s work is done on the Lord’s time. I want to have no plan- no matter how good- in the way of being available to Him right now.

Today is the day to praise the Lord for all He has done outside of my plans. Time to erase the whiteboard.

3 Replies to “Erasing the Whiteboard”

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