It was a cold November evening when I was in the office late at Crusaders back in the year 2000. I’d been working for the organisation for six months and had just printed off a pristine 120 page copy of the newly written 5-year-strategy. The strategy was loaded with ambitious goals for the coming years. It was all great stuff (of course!) and was fuelled by the passionate, audacious heart of my 29 year old self.

But as I look back on that moment – and if I could take Dr Who’s Tardis to visit my younger self in that pokey little office, with its ocean blue painted walls – then I’d invite us to both to take a seat, and take a breath, and then, with an affectionate smile, I’d say to my younger self as I looked at the strategy he was proudly holding…

“This is great Matt. Well done! You worked hard! You’ve given your best! But let me let you in to a little secret. More than half of this is never going to happen – and that’s totally ok! It’s great that you and the team have come up with such bold, wonderful plans to reach 100,000s of young people. God delights in your enthusiasm and commitment. But here’s what you’re about to discover. God leads by a compass, not a map. You’ll find many course corrections along the way in the years to come, as you regularly take a reading of His divine compass and see what He is doing and where He is going – and then say ‘yes’ again – and again – and again! The journey, the growth, the stretch, is far more important than the destination. God is more committed to what He is doing in you, than what He’s doing through you. So, keep surrendering, keep listening, keep trusting, keep following – and you’ll be amazed where God is about to take you. Just – don’t – strive!”

I wonder if my younger self would’ve listened? Probably not! I’ve still not fully learnt it yet myself now. But I’m doing better than last year 🙂

Be encouraged dear friend as you read this – go slow and every day come afresh in surrender to God and check His divine compass for the day. May He order all our steps towards love and life – for Him, for others and for ourselves.