By Steve Ivaska
“So what is God showing you?” Those were the words my Halftime Coach asked shortly into our scheduled call. Two months earlier I had attended a Halftime Institute Launch Event, gotten clarity around a personal mission statement to guide me, and formulated a game plan for moving forward in my “journey from success to significance.” Strategy and planning always seemed to come easy. The seemingly intuitive thought process served me well in my business career. Where are we today, where do we want to be, and how do we get from here to there? So what could be different as I designed a life plan, or roadmap for the next year, around those same types of questions?
The difference would come at a heart level. Reflecting and journaling one morning, I came across a passage of scripture that grabbed my attention. “We continually remember before God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:3.
So what was my motivation in this journey I was on? God seemed to be showing me this was to be a journey of faith. I couldn’t see around every corner, I couldn’t predict in advance what the outcome would be. And in reality, wasn’t life itself a journey of faith, in spite of my best planning?
The second part of the verse hit me right between the eyes. A labor prompted by love. I hadn’t ever viewed work in my business career as a labor prompted by love…a true love for others. It was more the case that my intensity could easily result in me walking by someone and never really seeing them, as I was so preoccupied in thinking about what I had to get done next. In my journaling, it seemed God was saying to me, “Steve, it doesn’t matter whether you stay in your current business context or join a ministry context to live out your mission statement, without your having love for others as your motivation, slowing down enough for them and to understand their needs, I can’t fully use you.”
And then “endurance inspired by hope in Christ.” I reflected on the endurance I had exhibited over the years. Endurance to work long hours, to turn around things when they went upside down, to do whatever it took to get the job done. And while some of that endurance was the result of just the enjoyment of using the talents God had blessed me with, truth be told, many times the endurance as I “climbed the ladder” was inspired by fear. Fear of what would happen if we didn’t get the job done or meet plan. Fear of how I’d look if we failed to make the numbers. Fear of what the impact might be on my performance rating or incentive compensation. Endurance inspired by hope rather than fear…how potentially freeing!
What I was experiencing, as I shared these insights with my Coach several years ago, was what we refer to as the Heart Journey of Halftime. God was not just interested in what it was He would have me do as a result of my mission statement and planning at a head level. He was even more interested in who it was He was having me become at a heart level. God was changing my heart to move forward in faith, trusting Him for the outcomes. Seeking to serve out of a motivation of love for Him and others. And being inspired by my hope in Christ.
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