Pay Attention to the Marbles.

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My brain is bursting with thoughts from every which angle, so forgive me if this blog post sounds confusing/ scattered with ideas.

Today I had the privilege of attending the Catalyst Dallas Conference, where I was able to hear some incredibly fantastic speakers and worship with my man Matt Redman and the David Crowder Band.

Needless to say, it was an incredible day.

I just wanted to slightly de-brief with you guys what was on my heart as I reflected on the topics covered throughout the day and just sat with Jesus for a little while.

There was a theme that kept going through my head…

It was something along the lines of: Make right NOW count.

The theme of the conference is “Make” so many of the speakers have talked about how we can “make our mark” in this world.

Andy Stanley discussed the importance of embracing the current opportunity set before us, despite the unavoidable diversity we will face. He emphasized that leaders are made one response at a time.

So how do we best follow Jesus? By pursuing the current opportunity we are given and trusting Him with the next step.

Jon Acuff dived full-force into the message that completely hit home with me. He said “The biggest thing that stands in our way of doing what God asks of us: We want to be READY.”

WOAH.

I probably should’ve purposely sneezed when he said that or something so I wouldn’t have to be accountable to hearing that reminder 🙂

Just kidding! But really, he highlighted that we will never know the finish line in this life. It’s just not the way the story goes. BUT…we do know the starting line and that line is up to us.

What’s it gonna be?

Craig Groeschel hit the nail on the head when he discussed the three levels of effectiveness of a spiritual leader.  At the bottom of the pyramid is the time where we want to make a name for ourselves, in which we start thinking “I’m good” and believing it’s about us.

The second tier is making a difference, in which we realize how others and our team are key in the “difference-making” we do, and we start to thinking: “Wow! WE are good!”. We get caught up in what our Bible study is doing, or even our charity, and becomes about our actions.

The last tier is making HISTORY, in which we realize “God is good”. It’s always been about Him and it will always be. We don’t matter and He doesn’t need us. Period.  It is when we hit this level of effectiveness that we can see situations as they really are- impossible without Jesus and unstoppable with Him.

Reggie Joyner hit me with a truth grenade as soon as he started talking.

He opened with this: “There are two things everyone must know: You will die sooner than you want to and nobody is going to remember you.”

His point in saying this was to remind us that while our family may miss us when we pass, this life is not about storing up treasures or making a name for ourselves on this Earth.  It’s about leaving a legacy that points to the greatest name of all.

He included a fantastic illustration (just imagine this for a second) in which he put 936 marbles in a jar. Each marble represented a week, in which 936 weeks summed up the time a child is born until they are 18, which is when they usually move out of their parent’s house.

His reasoning behind this was to remind us that life is short. Our jar may seem full at first but as life takes us by surprise, half of our marbles are gone and our window of influence has greatly decreased.

I go through each of these examples from the speakers to show you and to remind myself that there is something we must remember as we start our day, each and everyday: Today only comes ONE time.

How you spend these moments determines the next ones that come. It determines the purpose that you believe for your life, the circle of influence you are able to have on those around you and the legacy that you leave.

Stanley was right: Sieze today’s opportunity. It is here, today, for a reason.

Acuff was on point: You don’t have to be ready for the next step because you have a ready God. Take that leap of faith and trust Him with the outcome.

Groeschel hit the nail on the head: History is made over time, so in order to make history, you must start now. You must pursue God now, in this moment and the next.

Joyner drives the point home: Life is short. We must make time count, over time. Invest in the people of tomorrow now by pointing to the maker of tomorrow’s and you will be remembered for pointing to the keeper of tomorrow’s. 

In other words: Your marbles will be gone in the blink of an eye. Don’t underestimate the influence Jesus can have through you when you remember the importance of your marble jar.

So maybe now you know why right now is on my mind… because truthfully, right now is all we know that we have.

It can not be replaced or remade.

It is here once and with specific purpose.

God is cautious and particular about His details so pay attention. Remember that time is a precious gift many are denied and for that: We must always be grateful for each and every marble that we have.

Make right now count.

Be careful! You might just make history 🙂 

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