Where were you 10 years ago? When the calendar flipped to 2010, what were you doing? Were you serving in your current ministry? Did you have as many kids/grandkids as you have today? Who were your friends? What lessons did you learn between 2010 and 2020?
Here are a few reminders of where the world was ten years ago.
- President Trump had often flirted with a presidential bid, but no one ever took him seriously.
- Osama Bin Laden was alive and well.
- Patrick Mahomes was in the eighth grade.
- There was no College Football Playoff.
- Dr. Paige Patterson was enjoying his position at SWBTS, and giving a 29 year old seminary student a tour of his library.
- The University of Iowa was preparing to win the Rose Bowl.
- No one had ever heard of #BlackLivesMatter or #Metoo
- Dr. Jerry Rankin was IMB President
- Lebron James was a Cleveland Cavalier and Kobe Bryant was on his way to winning the NBA Championship.
- I stood in front of a congregation and said, “After seeing all my pastor goes through, there’s no way I want to be a pastor.” I’ve been a pastor now for almost seven years.
Reflecting on the past can be fun and heartbreaking. We can see how God has shaped our lives in surprising and unexpected ways. We can see the lessons we had to learn the hard way, and hopefully, some lessons we learned the easy way.
In Jeremiah 29:11, the Lord says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
- He already has plans for us–We can look back over the past decade and we can see our plans weren’t always His plans. He had plans for us when the decade began, and those plans came to fruition, and no matter what has transpired in the intervening 10 years, His grace and His love have been constant. He has plans for us in this decade. There will be plenty of surprises, but in 2030, we will be able to say with the Psalmist, “His love is Eternal.”
- He has planned for our welfare–I used to have this vision of God: He was a cosmic parent, waiting for me to sin enough so He could drop the hammer on me, punishing me for all my sins. This passage contradicts that characterization. He’s my biggest fan. He wants me to succeed. He’s not waiting for me to mess up enough. I hang on to this verse when I’m tempted to treat God like a cosmic killjoy.
- He has planned for our future–It’s an inescapable fact, some of us have more future ahead of us on this earth than others–maybe. There’s no age limit in Jeremiah 29:11. Jeremiah didn’t write, “For I know the plans I have for you 20, 30, and 40 year olds, but you guys over 50, you’re on your own.” The truth is, when we’re one day old, God has already planned for us, and when we’re 32,850 days old, God has plans for our future. You guys who are over 32,850 days, you’re on your own.
This has not been a deep theological blog post with intricately mined nuggets of truth from God’s Word, but I want to encourage you as this decade comes to a close, look back and see what God has done in 10 years. Reflect on God’s goodness and His mercy. I have no idea where I’ll be in 2030, but I’d like to look back in 10 years and say, “To God be the glory, great things He hath done.”
P.S. Where I was in 2010:
- I had never preached a sermon, nor written a blog post
- I had two children. I have 5 now.
- The Atlanta Braves were my favorite sports team.
- I was a New England Patriots fan. Go Chiefs
- The University of Texas Football Program was relevant.