Not Done Yet

This summer marks the end of my fifth year as a youth leader at my church.  It’s a bittersweet time for me, because I know that the current season of my life is drawing to a close, and God is preparing to move me forward into new things and new opportunities.  It has been a wonderful time, and I’ve gotten to know many awesome kids along the way.  I know that they’ve spoken into my life at least as much, if not more, than I’ve spoken into theirs.  It truly has been a rewarding, fun, and wonderful season of life.

With that said, I can’t think of a better way of ending this stage of life than getting to teach from the book of Second Timothy.  We’re in the process of remodeling the student center, transforming it from an old gym into a place designed to hold worship.  During the month or so that the space isn’t inhabitable, we’ve been doing an “old fashioned Sunday school,” where each of the groups gets together and holds classes in a classroom by themselves.

Todd (the other leader of the group I’m a part of) and I have been teaching out of Second Timothy.  It’s very appropriate, because it talks both about the state of the culture we live in and being a young follower of Christ, as well as because it’s challenging, both to us as teachers and to the young men and women we teach.

This morning as I was reading through 2 Timothy 4, I found myself making a lot of notes in the margins of my Bible about God equipping us, preparing us, etc.  The thing that leaped off of the page for me all of the sudden was – here we have Paul, sitting in prison, expecting it to be the end of his life, and yet he’s still asking Timothy to bring his papers and books, and giving instructions about how to keep growing and moving forward.

Paul is saying, in essence, that even though the end of his journey seems to be looming around the corner, he is not done yet.  He isn’t retiring.  He’s not moping around, or giving up, or slowing down.  He’s pressing forward.  He is using every breath, every moment he still has at his disposal to keep growing, to keep moving, to keep spurring others along.  Even from a prison cell.

That says a lot to us as well.  There are points in our lives where we don’t feel like we’re making any difference, where we feel like we’re just treading water or just existing.  We may as well be locked in a dungeon isolated from the rest of the world.  When that’s the case, Paul says, “So what?”  Even though sometimes we can’t see what God is doing, we can trust Him and trust that He is at work in and through us (Philippians 1:6)

As long as we’re still drawing breath, we still have a purpose in this life.