What’s Next?

Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.  Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. – Phil. 3:12-14

My kids don’t hunt for Easter eggs anymore. At 16 and 13, it would probably seem kind of weird to the neighbors if they saw that happening in the front yard.

I remember when they were little and the egg hunt was one of the highlights of the weekend. They were just so stinking cute! When Brandon was 1 1/2 years old, he figured out a way to beat the whole egg-hunt system. It was our first Easter in Midland, and we had  lunch and an egg hunt after church with a group of families. There were some dyed, hard-boiled eggs, and some plastic eggs with candy. Brandon would pick up the eggs he found, shake them close to his ear, and then chunk the ones that didn’t make any noise. It didn’t matter that those were the ones that had neat designs and swirls of pretty colors. He didn’t want to have anything to do with the lame eggs that didn’t have candy inside. Smart kid.

Then Abby came along, and she was a whole different kind of fun. She didn’t like people much. We affectionately referred to it as “abbytude.” As soon as we walked through the front door of our friend’s house and set her down, she staged a “lie in” (the 1 year old version of a sit in) to express her displeasure over not going home after church. I took a picture for posterity, or embarrassment, or both. Does it really matter? Just look at that strong-willed child. She didn’t cry or throw a tantrum; she just calmly dropped her little body onto the entry-way floor and made herself as heavy as possible. She warmed up a little later, though. Maybe it was getting rid of the tights, or maybe it was the candy-filled eggs. Come to think of it, there’s great power for women in both.
This weekend was much different. I could be sad thinking about how much I miss the days when they were younger and there was so much joy in watching their excitement over little plastic eggs. But, it turns out, now is pretty great, too. On Saturday afternoon, I found Brandon on the trampoline…with his Bible, and without his phone. We sat and talked about Jesus, and life, and how relationship with Jesus should impact how we live that life. On Sunday, in the car, I listened to Abby talk about what she learned in the Easter message at church that morning. It’s a different kind of joy.
It was fun for me to see facebook statuses and pictures from friends celebrating Easter with young children and friends with grandchildren. I’m currently somewhere in the middle of all of that. And it makes me wonder, “What’s next?” 
I think that’s kind of the point of today. It’s the day after Easter, the day after resurrection Sunday. It’s like all the statuses yesterday exclaiming, “He is risen!” Those first century Jesus’ followers said the same thing. God gave them all a little bit of time to soak it in, to ponder, to celebrate what is…and then He let them know what was next: Go and make disciples. I’ll be with you, no matter what.
What’s next for you? The egg hunts and get-togethers are done for another year. The worship service where we plan for our highest attendance has passed. It’s Monday. What’s next?
The best part of the resurrection is that we get to walk forward in new life. I am 100% certain that God has plans that involve you – plans that stretch you beyond your comfort zone, plans that reveal His unparalleled wisdom, presence, and power, plans that bring you joy because you trusted Him and where He shows Himself faithful, again. 
I dare you to look at life like Paul did – forgetting what is behind, reaching forward to what is ahead in Christ…there is much! I dare you to pursue not the events as the prize, but the journey still to come, “God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” I dare you to ask Him, “What’s next?” And when He answers, I dare you to do it.
Happy day after Easter, everybody 🙂

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The “next” with your children is a different, yet more mature, relationship…but equally wonderful. Hopefully, the “next” in our relationship with Christ, no matter what our stage in life, will also be more mature and even more wonderful.

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