Remember a time when you were left behind? It’s not a great feeling. In fact, it’s quite miserable. I think about the scene in the movie Forrest Gump, when he was in Vietnam. When their squad came under fire and were forced to retreat, they were supposed to run. Forrest ran so fast and far that he found himself alone. In his words, “I ran so fast that I found myself alone, and being alone in the jungle in Vietnam is not a good thing.”
Feeling alone and left behind is connected with loss. We’re afraid we’ll lose something valuable, such as a friend or even our current reality. It’s why we resist change and cling to the way things used to be. Some of this is a feeling that – if we let it control us – will result in an unhealthy use of energy to keep things the same. But there is a reality about loss that we must lament in a healthy way. It’s okay (perhaps even necessary) to grieve what was, so we can receive what will be. It’s natural to feel loss and to resist change. But the Spirit of Jesus is nudging us to become supernatural by taking in his strength, especially in the face of loss and change.
Whether we’re young or old, we struggle with loss and change and being left behind. The younger generation is wondering if they will risk engagement or if it’s better to remain disengaged and separate…will it be authentic and relevant or will it be a waste of time or a way to get hurt? The seasoned generation is wondering why things can’t remain the same, and will they still have something to contribute when change comes knocking? This is scary stuff, and it’s real.
A more comforting reality is that the Holy Spirit is always moving, always changing, and never does the exact same thing twice. This kind of creativity has an element that is unpredictable and can be quite upending if we’re honest. Consequently, it will require a significant amount of faith and trust in the character of the Holy Spirit if we are to resist our natural instinct to dig in our heals. In order to remain healthy and fruitful, we continue to receive more of Christ and his characteristics, part of which is creativity and change.
By His Spirit we move forward in mission, and God desires that no one is left behind (2 Peter 3:9). We don’t want anyone who believes – or those yet to believe – to be left behind the mission of God. Jesus said, “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” (John 12:32).
You have so much to give…don’t be afraid of change or being left behind…God’s not done with you yet…