I have a "cork board" hung on the wall to the right of my desk. For some reason today, I took a minute to really think about what was up there. Hang with me here, but it really gave me some advice about life:
1. A lot of people will step in and out of your life. The oldest picture I have is from 1996 when me and a group of my closest friends came in 2nd at an Air It Out flag football tournament (I'm still ticked that we came in 2nd.) I have pics from my college days, pics from Hurricane Katrina, and pics that we took last year. A lot of people will walk in and out of my life. How will I impact them positively and point them to Jesus?
2. Remember the "fence posts" in your life. On this board are pictures and notes that bring up really powerful moments from my life: A post-it from my wife shortly before we were to be married. A newspaper article when our church purchased new property for our current location. A picture of a team of guys I served with a week after Hurricane Katrina hit. It's moments like these I want to remember ... things that have built me up in the past and will help me to be stronger for the future. Don't live in the past ... but don't forget it either.
3. Keep the good advice. I have a couple of articles that I will ALWAYS keep in front of me. One by Diane Langberg. One by Doug Fields. One on Youth Ministry vs. Student Ministry. These are things I will look at often in an effort to try to keep me focused. When I get frustrated or discouraged in ministry, I will often glance at these articles to help me remember what is truly important and what I need to be focused on.
4. Remember your roots. I have pictures of Three Rivers Stadium and also PNC Park in Pittsburgh. I have a bumper sticker from Penn State. I have what was read to "commission" me my first Sunday at Grace Community Church. I don't want to forget where I came from. It's all a part of who I am today and will help me to move forward to where God wants me to go.
5. Little things are big things. I have two things that my son made specifically for me. They're certainly something that only a father would look at as a masterpiece, but since he made them for me, that's exactly what they are. And, everytime he walks in to "dad's new office" as he says, he looks at those things and always comments on them. It's something little, but it carries a lot of weight in building in to him and helping me to stay focused on my family.