To Invest or Not To Invest
Life is full of uncertainty. We face many questions like, what will I do when I “grow up,” where will I live, how long will I be there, and so on. When we arrive in situations where this uncertainty seems to be at an all time high (at this point in our lives), we wonder whether or not we should invest in the people and the place that we find ourselves in. If we know that we will only be in our current situation for a short amount of time, but don’t know exactly when our exit will happen, our tendency is to hold back.
Last year I found myself asking the exact same question. I had just completed a two-year residency at a church, where I had hoped to be for much longer than that, but God had other plans. We moved into my parents’ basement, which we had anticipated on being for a VERY short time. In the meantime, I was in the process with a few different churches and non-profit organizations. There was one non-profit, that I had interviewed with for several months, which we thought I was nearly guaranteed a position. Within a few weeks of moving in with my parents we had anticipated that we would be moving across the country for my new job. That position ended up falling through, it turns out that again God had other plans for us. After we came to this realization, I continued to apply to various churches and organizations across the US, without knowing for sure how long we would be living with my parents for. As the first couple months went by, I struggled with whether or not to get involved in various groups, investing in relationships without knowing how long we would be in the area.
After leaving our previous community that we had poured two years of our lives into and not knowing where we were headed next, I wrestled with whether or not I should fully invest in the current situation that we found ourselves in. I was so thankful for the opportunity to serve in our previous community, but it made saying goodbye very difficult. Reflecting on how hard that experience was and the fact that God had seemingly placed us into a holding pattern, We were unsure what our next step should be.
We took some time to visit various churches in the area before we started attending Southfield regularly (our home church). In September of last year, through the invitation of my parents, I joined the running journey group. I began to get to know more people within the church and grew a love for running that I didn’t know was possible.* Despite the fact that I was interviewing with various organizations throughout the country with the imminent possibility of moving in a matter of weeks, we began to invest more and started to feel more apart of the community. It started simply by dipping my toe in the water by joining the running journey group once a week and then we went for the cannonball. We would touch base with various people on a Sunday morning, continuing to invest in those relationships. My wife and I joined the workout group at church, which met twice a week and began to get to know more people that way.
Then in December I decided to make an even bigger splash and reached out to Brian, the youth pastor, about getting involved serving in the Junior High Ministry. We had a great conversation, talking about the unknowns that were in Ab and I’s future but the fact that I wanted to serve any way that I could. He graciously welcomed me to the team and the investment grew richer and richer.
Fast forward 5 months later, Ab and I have moved across the country into a new community starting a brand new investment. There are many things that God taught me during our time in the “holding pattern.” One of the biggest things that I learned was to not be afraid to invest! No matter how long you plan on being in one location, don’t allow that minor detail to force you to miss out of God’s blessings that are readily available to you. God is good all time, He works all things for His good and it’s time for us to believe it, even when you’re not sure what’s next!
By investing in the relationships that I made during my time in the “holding pattern,” I felt God’s love and felt embraced by a great community of believers. If I had withheld myself from the experience, just keeping to myself because I knew that we were not planning on being there long term I would have missed so much! I have made memories that I will cherish, learned lessons that I would have missed out on and made friends that I hope to have for a lifetime! It’s time to stop dipping your toe in the water and go for the cannonball! We spend too much time thinking about the questions of what if and that I’m only here for ‘x’ amount of time, which is surely not long enough to make an impact (or be impacted). It’s time to forget that lie and jump in, do a cannon ball with everything you got and discover what blessings God has for you in your current situation! I know I am so grateful that I did and in regards to the future, I am committing to not waiting as long!
What are you waiting for, invest in the community around you today, that’s the only way that you’ll discover the blessings that God has for you right in your (current) backyard!