The Dodson family is deep in the weeds of transition this summer. Within the span of ten days, we celebrated our daughter’s high school graduation, moved our eldest son into college student housing, squeezed all of our belongings into a storage container, and then packed the remnants of our family and home into some very full suitcases to spend the month in Central Washington, waiting on the completion of our new home in Vancouver. As I drove across a large part of Western and Central Washington last week, I saw the signs of future investment: farmers’ fields sprouting with wheat, corn beginning its trajectory out of the dirt, and rows of cars lining the cherry orchards.
This reminded me of those that have invested in my life over the years, and those I've invested in. One person in particular comes to mind. Darren, my youth pastor, invested in my life as I first came to faith in Jesus. His investments were simple, and yet formative in preparing me for the life of following and serving Jesus. He met with several of us on a weekly basis to memorize Scripture, learn how to pray, how to have times of solitude and worship, and how to hear God’s voice. He and his wife welcomed us into their home. We read books like the Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman and the Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer. The weekly attendance at this youth group rarely broke twenty students, but of those, five or more are now serving in full time ministry.
Later this month, I will get to celebrate the ordination of one of our church planters in whom God has allowed me to invest over the years. I first met him as a middle-schooler in a duck hunting blind. Over a decade later, he has blossomed into a maturing man of God that loves his family, his city, and those God is calling him to lead and shepherd.
God is calling us to invest in a future harvest. We hear Jesus’ words: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, he will send workers.” As you enjoy the rest in these summer months, let me encourage you to reflect on who God is calling you to intentionally pour into in this coming season. Who are the three, six, nine, maybe even twelve people that God is calling you to invest in for the future harvest?