It's hard to believe, but this season of the ELI is rapidly coming to a close. And yet, it our journeys are far from over. It is so exciting to consider where and how God will continue to move us, both collectively and individually as we persevere on our journeys. Even as we reflect on where we’ve been, I want to encourage us to maintain the perspective that our journey of purpose is only beginning.
“And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:21-22).
While there were many college courses that I enjoyed, there were also many that I just had to take in order to graduate. For these classes, I bought the book, studied for the exams, and worked hard to get the grade...and then moved on. I retained the knowledge during the semester, however, as soon as I had taken the final exam it was out the door and out of my mind. What was once relevant is now only remembered in books such as General Chemistry and The Economic Structure of Corporate Law presently gathering dust on my bookshelf. These classes may have helped me get to get to a destination (graduation), however, because of how I approached them, they've had little lasting impact on my ongoing life.
What would it look like for your ELI journey to be more than a class?
Unlike the rich young man in Mark 10, are we willing to allow our time with God and our teams over these past few months to truly influence and change us? Are we open to allowing God's truth to transform us from the inside out, even if it means giving up something we may think is better? In order to do so, we have to be willing to engage the Spirit and the Word in the daily, even hourly work of moving from me-centered to Christ-centered.
Our prayer and hope is that ELI will not be just a course to complete, a set of trainings to learn, or extra notes that you can put on the shelf or stick on your fridge. Rather, might the practices you've embraced, the relationships you've built, and the tools for discovering God, ourselves, and others be an on-going process that allows you to be one that God is constantly transforming to transform. Might ELI be a resource and framework to help guide you to be about eternal, Kingdom impact, life to the fullest, each and every day. It is from being with God that we do for God, not the other way around. And it is in losing our lives - our agendas, thrones, and expectations - that we provide others and ourselves the opportunity to gain full life.