A few months ago, I was wrapping up my discipleship time with a couple athletes. I wasn’t just wrapping up a semester, but wrapping up our time altogether. I am moving next month and we had two more weeks where we would have our face to face, weekly meetings. I had finished all the content I wanted to go over that semester, but we still had two weeks left, so I asked what they wanted to discuss. One gal had a very intriguing suggestion.

She wanted to know what were five things I wasn’t able to teach them, but that they needed to know.

The other gal said, “Yeah, like what would you laminate for us?”

I enjoy laminating things. Usually I’ll laminate things I stick in my Bible or things other people can stick in their Bibles or hang somewhere in their room. It’s not as likely to get damaged. 

It lasts longer.

So I took a couple weeks to think through the things I wanted them to know and remember. With so many messages the world is trying to teach us, these were the things I wanted them to hold onto.

Here are the five things I shared with the ladies during our last meeting together. Not all of them are original thoughts, but a few things I’ve heard and learned on my life’s journey. (And yes, I did laminate them!)

1) “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” – Tim Keller

We all need to remember the gospel. The gospel isn’t just for those who will yet believe, but for those of us who do believe – whether it’s been for a short time or a long time. The gospel reminds us God is greater than we will ever be and at the same time, gives us the freedom to be who He created us to be. The gospel keeps us in the sweet spot between humility and grace.

2) There are two things that will last. God’s Word and man’s soul. Invest in these two things.

There are so many things in the world that demand our attention, but these are the two things that will last into eternity. These are the things we need to prioritize in our lives. We don’t ignore our other responsibilities, but we strive to prioritize these things. Obviously, we have different seasons in our lives, so these will look different in each season. Pray through how you can prioritize these things in this current season of your life.

3) You’ve never locked eyes with someone who doesn’t matter to God.

People matter to God and that means they should matter to us. Genesis 1:27 tells us we are all created in God’s image. Believer or not, God cares for every living soul. He created them! 

I heard at a conference once that we need others to better understand God. I grew up with a very white, suburban view of God. But God is greater than my limited view point. Since each person is made in His image, I need other people – other races, other ages, other people who have completely different life experiences than I do – to get a fuller picture of who God is. Without other people, my knowledge of God is lacking.

4) Our life is like a puzzle and each moment is a piece to our puzzle. Trust God with every piece you’ve been given, even if it doesn’t make sense. God holds the puzzle box and knows this piece is necessary for the bigger picture.

This has been one of my favorite analogies the Lord gave me over the years. I love teaching this and helping others understand that every piece of our life is necessary, despite the blackness or the confusion that goes with it. We may not fully understand it or like it, but since God knows the final picture, we trust that this piece wasn’t given to us by mistake.

5) When you face a hard situation, don’t ask, “Why?” Instead, ask, “What, Lord are you trying to teach me?”

This goes along with #4. Since each piece of our life is necessary for the bigger picture, we can ask the Lord what He’s trying to teach us. What would we never know if we never went through this situation? What part of our character needs molding or shaping? What aspect of His character is He revealing to us through this situation?

(I wrote about these last two in more depth for Athletes’s in Action website found here.) 

What about you? What would you laminate for someone? What are the things you want people to remember, the things you want to last?

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