“We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in two years and underestimate what we can accomplish in ten...think long.” --Mark Batterson.
We just celebrated my daughter’s tenth birthday, as a result, I am very aware of a decade of time passing, this particular period was very near and dear to my heart! I cannot believe how much has changed in the last ten years in the world at large, and for me personally.
In the world:
The verb "to google" entered the Oxford English Dictionary. Twitter was launched. Social media took off and Saddam Hussein was executed. Apple released the iPhone, and Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps smashed records at the first ever Beijing Olympics. "Black Monday" happened. Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were bailed out by the US government, and America elected the first African-American president, Barack Obama. The oldest skeleton of a human ancestor was uncovered in Ethiopia, and Pope Benedict stepped down and made way for our beloved Pope Francis.
For me personally:
I gleefully gave birth after an almost ten year gap and things just kept getting more interesting! I started over in many ways, even on a new faith journey. I met someone who challenged me in new ways and I began to feel the call to become a Catholic. With that calling, my ministry, activities, and focus began to change. Things I never would have conceived of doing ten years ago have now unfolded making way for new ministries and new opportunities.
Where are you now? Do you have short term goals for the next year and long term goals for the next ten years? Do they include spiritual growth? If so, are you, by God’s grace, taking steps to get there? Are you tilling your soil and being open to His leadings, His seeds of grace being planted in your life? Are you cooperating with the Spirit that beckons you? Who says: “Follow Me.”
I recently saw the movie Risen! with Joseph Fiennes. One scene made an indelible impression on me: As the disciples were being hunted by Roman soldiers, one of them exclaimed, “We do not fear death!” But the person who was aiding in their escape boldly stated, “Then fear the death of what has been entrusted to you!” The camera panned to all eleven disciples and you realized that the fate of the world, the amazing treasure of the truth and knowledge of Jesus Christ, and all of His teaching was IN these eleven men. It would be up to them, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to pass it on! In the decade to follow, the Roman world began to be turned upside down by this small, uneducated group of men. In spite of the world's greatest super power's efforts to kill the Gospel message, against all odds, the disciples pressed on in that first year and then in the decades to follow, but if they had gotten discouraged and given up...where would we be?
With what has God entrusted you? How can you share your love of God with others? Look around and take note. He has given you areas of influence that only you have. You can start by praying for those around you. As you get to know them, begin to serve them. You are already sharing your treasure! If the opportunity presents itself, invite them to Church or a Bible Study. Or have a faith-sharing dinner and invite a priest to come and speak. Why not give them a book that has helped to change your life?
Whatever you do, don't get discouraged. You have been entrusted with a great treasure. Little by little, cultivate it and, by His grace, pass it on! 2026 will be here before you know it! And remember- you never walk alone!
I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
2 Corinthians 4:7-10
I confess I get discouraged! Help me! I am short sighted and blind! Open my eyes to see what You have entrusted to me and what unique opportunities that I will be given to pass Your love along in the next year. I know that it is YOU that will bear fruit by my efforts...even ten, twenty, thirty years out! Please give me the grace of a greater faith to work with You, not out of duty, but out of love. Let me get to know You more and more this next year and, as I do, let that love flow out of me to the little piece of the world that You have given me to influence. I love You Lord. Make my love for You increase. Make me bold. Give me fortitude. Give me You.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.