On March 25, 2007, my oldest daughter, Hannah, was baptized. It was a fabulous day in the Lovejoy home. Family came in from out of town, we cooked a big meal, presents were given, and we burned up the batteries in my camera. Making a decision for God is a big deal to us.
To be sure, we partied that day. But more important than celebrating the event of that day is celebrating the spiritual growth that happens afterward. It would be kind of like planning an extravagant wedding, but then never doing the work necessary to have a solid marriage. Or, cutting the ribbon for the grand opening of a new business, but never training the employees to do the job. We don’t magically become more Christ-like when we give our lives to Him….it takes discipline and effort. And, that process is always made easier if we are mentored along the way.
Every year on March 25th, I have a date with Hannah. We usually grab Coldstone Creamery, but this year she graduated to Starbucks. With a decaf Caramel Frapp, full whip, for her and a decaf Java Chip non-fat Frapp, light whip, for me we sat down and chatted for an hour.
We talked about the goals she set last year and whether or not she met them. We talked about her service at Mountain Lake and the things she’s experienced with God this year. She was so proud that she met the goals that she had set for herself, and I could see the satisfaction in her eyes when I told her how impressed I was.
She was 12 years old and these were her goals:
1. Spend time with God at least 4 mornings each week.
2. Serve in some form of volunteerism at church each Sunday.
3. Be involved in her small group in Evolve, the student ministry.
This year she has set some new goals:
1. Spend time with God 5 mornings each week.
2. Continue to serve at Mountain Lake
3. Find ways to show love to the girls in her small group in Evolve.
4. Begin tithing out of her allowance.
We also talked about the impact in her life as she accomplishes these goals – the wisdom she’ll gain to face the tough issues of a teen’s life, the influence over the kids that she mentors in our children’s ministry, the love she can show to friends, and the blessings that come from obeying God with our finances. Finally, we talked about focusing more on God’s love than on a set of do’s and don’ts. God’s love, after all, is all that matters.
Sound pretty heady for a 13 year old girl? Not really. This is called discipleship. Every person who follows Christ should be walking this road.
What about you? Do you have some goals for your walk with God? Come on! You can do this! Set some reasonable goals – ones that you can accomplish. Don’t make them too difficult. The goal is to grow, not to defeat yourself!
Grab a cup of coffee – or a Frapp – and spend some time with Jesus. It will be the best part of your day.