In his audio lectures on The Call, Os Guinness describes what keeps his sense of calling fresh. First, Guinness emphasizes the importance of spiritual disciplines. Second, Guinness credits accountability. “We all need a small group of those who know our dreams, who know our longings and our prayers,” he says. “As time goes by, things slip. We need to hold each other’s feet to the fire.”
Guinness has a pastor-friend who regularly asks him, “Is the revolution still on?” Both of them have dreamed for twenty-five years of seeing the Lord do something in their time on the level of William Wilberforce or other great figures from the past. As time goes on, we tend to settle for less. “We give up on that hope,” Guinness says. “We moderate that dream.”
I’ve noticed how easy it is to begin to coast and lose one’s edge without knowing it. It’s our natural tendency. Some of the people I admire most are those who, even as they grow older, continue to learn and risk like they did when they were young, long after it’s necessary to do so. When they could settle down, they are still working on keeping their calling fresh.
One of the youngest minds I’ve met belonged was when I was in my twenties, and I met a pastor’s wife in her eighties. Her faith and her mind were as sharp as any person I’ve encountered.
I love Richard Lovelace’s advice:
Do not pray only for your own spiritual renewal. Pray for a springtime of the Spirit which will enrich the church and the world, an awakening for which all earlier renewal movements have been only rehearsals.
“Is the revolution still on?” Someone please keep asking me this as I get older. It just may keep me praying and working the way that I should be.