By Pastor Dan Christian
The day has come. Pastor Cory’s countdown app has reached zero. He is now retired. Pastor Rocky has received the mantle of leadership and is now our senior pastor. A new season in the life of Evergreen SGV has begun!
Pastor Cory has worked very intentionally for many years to prepare us as a church family for this momentous change. So now that the change has arrived, how are we to live?
We are to keep on practicing what we’ve already been doing throughout this whole transition process.
We are to keep on remembering the goal of transformation. We are to keep on praying for wisdom. We are to keep on lamenting the losses, starting small, and holding on to hope. We are to keep on showing up, and keep on maintaining perspective. Keep on practicing what we’ve already been doing.
The athlete who has practiced diligently and constantly will be able to play in such a way in the game as to almost make it look easy. And in fact, for that athlete, it is easy. The skills in and of themselves may be quite complex and difficult, but the constant practice has made them second nature to the athlete. Thus even in a high stakes game, they can perform flawlessly if they simply do the same things that they have been practicing over and over.
Driving a car is the same dynamic. When you were learning to drive, you had to think about every little move and rule and road sign. But now, if you’ve been driving for any length of time, you don’t think much at all about how to maneuver the car—you just do it. Your body has developed muscle memory for all the steps involved in driving, so at that point it really is easy—you just keep practicing what you’ve already been doing.
So how are we to live, now that this major change has come? If we have practiced well over the past two years of preparation, then walking through this change could actually be easy, even though the things that come our way in this new season may be quite complex or difficult in and of themselves. But when we keep practicing the same habits we’ve already been developing, we can walk with confidence and competence through the changes.
Hebrews 12:11 speaks of discipline primarily as training, not just punishment, and says that in time, all discipline “yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Our new season does not have to be highly stressful, but in fact can be peaceful and fruitful, when we keep practicing the habits we’ve been learning—habits of looking to Christ and trusting in Him. Then we will truly be like the tree planted by streams of water, whose leaf does not wither, and in whatever we do, we prosper (see Psalm 1:3).
Thriving in transition happens as we put into practice, day after day, habits of reliance on God and interdependence within the family of God. So keep on practicing!