Pastor’s Pen: Upping my prayer life

There are certain events in life that cause you to up your prayer life. Last week involved one of those events in my life.

You are doing your work at your desk when you decide to check your email. The correspondence found therein causes you a sense of pride, fear and reflective thought. I had received these same types of messages before:

“Person X has recently applied for admission to College Y. They have provided us with your contact information. Please fill out the following pastor recommendation. Thank-you.”

Upon reading that, there is pride. There is a sense of gladness that this young man or woman is furthering their education, even more so if they are going to a college that will deepen their understanding and application of God’s word. There is that part of you that says, “I had some input into this person’s life and maybe made a little bit of a difference.” There is joy in that.

Yet, there is also fear. There is fear knowing they will no longer be right there in your midst each week. You will no longer know the friends they are spending time with and whether they are drifting from the truth. Nor will you be there to encourage them when life’s mountains become hard to climb. There is fear that they will fall, as we all do; but without rising up to continue forward. There is fear in the unknown and what you will never know. Those glimpses on social media, the occasional email or short talk in the grocery store aisle when they visit won’t give the full picture of what is happening in their lives.

That’s when I begin to look back. I know that it is part of nature and part of life for kids to grow into young men and women who eventually move out and move on. These times cause me to reflect on my part in their lives while they were here. Did I do enough? What could I have done better? Were my actions, speech and attitude godly? I know they weren’t always, but were they enough to reflect Christ in my life?

The example I set and the lessons I taught are now either long gone or they are ingrained into this young person’s very being. They will carry those things with them.  They are a part of who they are and who they will become. Whether good or bad, the biggest part of my influence is done. There will be times some will return for advice or just to catch up, but others will now take that place of influence. Others will make their mark on this young person’s life. It’s times like these that increase my own prayer life and my own walk with God. This one is moving on, but there are others here and now whom I may influence – for God or away from God.

“God help us to walk aright and to be an example ‘in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity’.”  Amen.  (1 Timothy 4:12)