A New Thing

Well, it’s been 4 days over 2  years since my last post. One might have thought I’d lost interest or run out of opinions on any topics. Neither could be further from the truth as those closest to me can attest. My journey of the past couple of years has been filled with watching God at work and marveling in His goodness.

But now, it is time for a new thing. What is the “new thing,” you ask. If I knew, I would tell you. So why start writing now before the answer is known? The writing is part of the discovery. Just as exchanging ideas with other people is invigorating and challenging, so writing becomes a way to express myself to help me articulate the process of the journey.

Three things have challenged my thinking in recent months. The first was the answer to my prayers and those of my family in God providing two very capable leaders to replace me in my former role with National 4-H Council. The second was a teaching by Matt Keller, pastor at Next Level Church in Fort Meyers, FL, on a topic titled “The God of the Underdogs.” The third was a passage of scripture found in the book of Jeremiah chapter 6 verse 16 that talks to those of us who are at a crossroad in life. Let’s take them in order.

Being in my fourth retirement, my family has been talking with me about traveling less and being more available for growing up with the grandkids. With five grandchildren we still make a concerted effort to get to all the activities in which these great young people are involved. It should also be noted that in 2012, I experienced a couple of health incidents that heightened our sensitivity to my travel schedule. Medicine is a wonderful thing that can help control many of our ailments. They have been praying for some time that my schedule would slow down to prevent more incidents. To make a long story short, I joined my family in praying about this matter in November of 2013. In December of 2013, while doing a search to fill an open position, God provided two candidates referred by a dear respected colleague and friend. As only God can do, both of the candidates were of excellent quality, however, one was ideally suited for the open position and the other was ideally suited to replace me! While that hadn’t been my intent, the Lord laid on my heart that this was (a) the right thing to do for my client and (b) we were being presented with an answer to the prayers we had been asking God to answer. God walked me and the executive team through the process and within 30 days we had filled the existing VP position and hired a new CIO to replace me! Only God does things like that! At the end of February, I completed their initial on-boarding briefings.

Earlier this month, @MatthewKeller taught the peeps at New Life Church on the God of the Underdogs. It was good to be reminded that God’s plan is always different (and better) than our plan. Just because life isn’t going according to our plan, doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a plan. The example cited was from 1 Samuel chapter 16. God began looking for a new king for Israel. This was not in line with Samuel’s thinking or with Jesse’s ideas, but God had a plan. When I was led to press for the hiring of my replacement, I had no idea what God would do with that. Indeed, I still am not sure, but I can be confident in this … God has a plan for me and my life! One final word Matt Keller left that spoke directly to me was the option of “missionary in the marketplace.” This aligns exactly with what I’ve been doing most of my life and where my passions lie! Was God speaking directly to me? Perhaps! It was indeed a great voice of confirmation. I learned from a former pastor to be careful about declaring what God is doing in my life until I’m looking at the situation through the rear view mirror after time has passed … perhaps much passage of time. I can only say at this point that there was a great deal of affirmation and confirmation on that Sunday morning.

Finally, this week as my bride and I are taking a step back from the pace of the past few months, I was reading the words of the prophet Jeremiah. In chapter 6 verse 16, the Lord says, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it …” Clearly, I am at a crossroad of change in my work activity, but God says, stand at the crossroads and look! Take time to look at what God may be putting before you. Then He says, ask for the ancient paths, another version says ask for the wisdom path, but He goes on to say, ask where the good way is and walk in it! Stopping to look and ask and find the good way and follow that path. This calls for discernment, it calls for use of our senses to sort out where we feel God may be leading us. At this point I am open to any and all options, including additional and new types of work with 4-H. Yet I hold all things with an open hand, asking and looking., prodding here and there.

A new thing, is beginning. A new journey, or shall we say a new leg of the journey is beginning. It will have been 13 years ago on April 15 when this journey of executive technology leadership began. Where the next steps lead, is in God’s hands. He has led me into every opportunity in my life. Every career move, every position, has come through God’s hand, not from my own fighting and jostling for a position for myself. God has a plan for me that has proven through the years to be far better than my own limited imagination. It is truly a faith walk. Repeatedly, He called the Israelites to create monuments so that they would remember. He asked them to tell the stories so their children and grandchildren could know of His faithfulness. I, too, now am documenting this next step of the journey so that I will remember and my children and grandchildren will know how the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob carried me along with His hands, fulfilling His plan. He has carefully been crafting me over my lifetime to carry out the work that He has prepared in advance for me to do (Eph 2:10). 

The sequence and timing of the events shared above, suggest that Aslan is on the move! God is at work! There is a new thing coming and I can’t wait to see what He will do. People often smile when I say that I am still wondering what I’ll be when I grow up. Stay tuned! The rest of the story is yet to be told!  

About ponderosapapa

Papa to five grandchildren, Dad to two daughters and two sons-in-law, Husband of one wife. Leaving a legacy of thought and perspective worth carrying through the generations that follow.
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3 Responses to A New Thing

  1. russell says:

    Good to see the fire being stirred up once again…keep the writings coming! Russell


  2. TroyP says:

    Well said Bill. He does lead and lead well when we take time to stop, look, listen, and follow the path HE reveals.


  3. TonyH says:

    Really enjoyed reading and pondering this post. Great word!


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