November 2019

Backwards Thinking and Getting a Vision

I haven’t had too many opportunities to play golf this year with my back problems and recent surgery on my vocal cords, but I was reading something about golf one time that I thought was interesting.
The article said that most people think that the correct way to play a golf hole is to play it from tee to green, but the professional golfers say that the truly correct way is from the green to the tee. No, they don’t tee it up on the green and hit it down the fairway to the tee. The first thing they do when they tee it up is to think about where they want to put the ball on the green.
And in order to do that, they think about where they want the ball to be in the fairway in or-der to make that shot to the green. And that tells them where to hit their drive. And then they are ready to tee off. If you think about it, they are using “backwards thinking” to accomplish their goals.
This past Sunday, several of the churches in our district gathered for a regional Charge Con-ference. We voted on a couple of items and then our District Superintendent invited each church to tell about something we celebrate and something to which we look forward to in our ministry.
It is the “looking forward” that I am talking about, because that is where we are invited to “think backwards” about our ministry. That is to say, whenever we think about our ministry in the church and what God is calling us to do, we need to think about what that ministry “looks like” when we are doing God’s will.
The writer of the book of Matthew captures this is the life of Jesus. Jesus was forever saying, The Kingdom of God is like this…and then, he would tell a parable or share an illustration of what that was like. In a way, Jesus was a “backwards thinker”, that is, he wanted us to think from the fu-ture back to the present, so that we would faithfully pursue God’s will in the present, looking for-ward to the moment when God’s love would reign supreme, where people’s lives were changed and lived in right relationship with God and one another.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, God wants us to get a vision, for that is what gives us hope and helps define our mission. It calls us to pursue God’s will, to discover our purpose in this world, and be faithful until Christ comes!
In Christ’s footsteps we walk,
Pastor Roger