I don’t own a beach house. I drive a rock-solid 2000 Dodge Caravan, with custom rust patches and a panoply of quirky technical problems that give it a unique personality and a dangerous attitude. My most expensive brand-name clothing is made by Levi’s. I am deeply happy.
And all that is the preamble to the fact that our family is now entering the fracas of uncertainty. The “Between Land.” There are stable places in life… when you know the plan for the rest of the year. Your home is secure, and you have a job. Food. A plan and a path. Well, we just took the off ramp onto Uncertainty Lane, we spilled coffee on the map, and our GPS is on the fritz. Oh, and the steering seems to be broken. And the brakes. And at least one of the headlights.
So if you can relate – if you don’t know what’s just ahead, and your blood pressure is up – this is for you. And, frankly, everyone goes into the “between land” once in awhile. Between the stable places. So this is for you, too, everybody.
Living Hope, the church I have been serving since it was planted seven+ years ago, has been hit hard by the downturn in our economy. Many churches have. And now as we come into a new budget year, my position and salary will most likely need to be significantly restructured. For the first time in 15 years, I’m facing the probable reality that I will not be able to continue in full-time vocational ministry.
This is the “between land.” Between the stable places. It reminds me of 1992, as I was finishing up my second year at the AFLC Bible School in Plymouth, MN, and I didn’t know what to do. Not sure where to go to school, or whether to pursue music or medicine. I knew enough about both tracks in college to know that pursuing both at the same time would be academic suicide. What did God want me to do? Lord, what’s your plan for me? Where do I go?
Smashcut to Steve Jobs. June 12, 2005. Stanford Commencement. He’s telling his story to hundreds of graduating seniors. Many in the between land. No sure what to do. Where to go. Spilled coffee on the map. No GPS.
He’s telling them how, after building the Apple company from the ground up in a garage to a multi-billion dollar company, he was fired by the Board of Directors at the 10 year mark. SMACK! And then, years later, as he continued to work in the field he loved (and firing up a little movie studio called PIXAR on the side), Apple bought out the company he had started, and he found himself back in the driver’s seat at Apple again. Better off than ever. Steve says…
“I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
Don’t settle. Do what you love. Don’t lose faith. You’ll know when you find it. Don’t settle.
I don’t think Steve Jobs is a Christian. I’m not sure, but I don’t think his philosophy is rooted in the truth of Scripture. Even so, truth is truth. And this rang true to me. Here’s why…
Back in 1992, in my pre-collegiate “Between Land,” I received some wise council. Pastor Steve Lombardo listened to me, prayed with me, shared Scripture with me…
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart…” (Psalm 37:4)
SWEET MARTHA’S VINEYARD!! You mean, I just delight myself in the Lord, and I’ll get that beach house my heart desires?! Sign me up, man!
Actually, no. Not at all. EVEN BETTER… This verse means literally that if you delight yourself in the Lord, God will GIVE YOU the desires of your heart. Meaning, the DESIRES themselves. He will place into your heart the desires that line up with His will for you – with His plan.
“Joshua, you get close to God. You read His promises for you. You enjoy Him like crazy. Say ‘thank you’ all day long. You delight in God and your relationship with Him… And then ask yourself… what do you really want to do, deep down? What does your heart desire? You want to know what path to take? Delight in God… and then do what you want to do.”
Music. Music and ministry. Worship and drums and art and church leadership! Forget the beach house! I’m doing what I love, and I’m delighting in God! Life abundant…
So now what? No GPS. Smack in the middle of the between. It’s time for me to delight in God with renewed passion and thanksgiving and awe. Lord, my life is yours. I don’t want to settle. I’ve got just this one life to live for your purposes. Beach house, shmeach house. Just help my heart desire what YOU desire along the path to the next stable place…
“the between land, steve jobs, and why i don’t own a beach house” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.