Have you ever been walking by a mirror and caught a random glimpse of yourself out of the corner of your eye and were startled by what you see? Anyone? Just me? Okay then.
Well, let me tell you, it happened to me just yesterday.
I was walking from my home studio into the kitchen by way of our small dining room, in which there hangs a large-ish antique mirror.
It was one of those head-snapping moments that you used to see in cartoons. You know, where the character’s head sort of shakes rapidly from side to side while an, “Oy-yoy-yoy” sound effect accompanies the movement.
Yeah, like that.
And what was the cause of my consternation, you may be thinking? The image I saw staring back at me from the mirror was that of a man who used to be someone else. But I’m not that guy anymore.
I was 22 when I entered the ministry. Twenty. Two. Through the years I was a youth pastor; choir and orchestra director; creative arts director and senior pastor. I produced stage events seen by tens of thousands of people. As the worship leader for Honorbound Men’s Ministry, I had the great privilege on three occasions of leading worship at the Pensacola Revival. I got to be involved with the highest grossing headliner in the history of Las Vegas, leading Bible studies backstage and ultimately writing his biography.
I signed my first recording contract in 1978 and our band, Northbound, has a place contemporary Christian music history. I was fortunate enough to compose songs for dozens of Christian recording artists, hear my songs on the radio and see them performed by soloists and large choral contingents at industry gatherings. I worked as Director of A&R for a record label and sang background vocals on Grammy Award-winning recordings.
Along the way, I have managed to write twenty-six books, ten of which have been published with many more in the queue.
I freely confess that I have lived a remarkable and blessed life.
And now, I am living a vastly different life to the one that sustained my family for decades.
“So, where are you going with this, RG?” I will tell you.
I was walking hand-in-hand with my granddaughter along the beach at sunset. My daughter called to me from the shore asking us to stand still while she took our picture. When I looked her way, I noticed that our shadows were enormous, stretching from where we stood even past where Sarah stood some thirty or forty feet away. And I clearly heard in my soul, “As the day diminishes, the reach of your shadow increases.”
It stopped me in my tracks as the realization blossomed: While the sun is setting on that “remarkable” life I mentioned having lived, I yet have influence as my shadow stretches out over the landscape of this present life.
So are we all…we of this Boomer generation.
I heard Bill Johnson say once that your shadow releases that which overshadows you. And I believe it to be true. I am determined to cast a shadow of encouragement, reaching eagerly forward to what comes next while relinquishing my hold on what has been.
Anyone care to join me?