I just realized how many times in questions we ask the question "Now what?"
Many today, after staying up watching election results, whether their candidate was victorious or not are asking this question. This year, that question may have more meaning that in years past. I was flipping between Fox News, local news and CNN last night watching results come in and one station showed a graph where the question was asked "Are you voting for a person, party or position or against a person, party or position. The majority answered they were voting against. So, do you think we have a polarized electorate? Victory speeches were given. Concession speeches were given. The end result was a chorus of "Now that this is over, we must work together for the betterment of the nation." Good statements, but we hear that every election, don't we?
I believe in our electoral process and actually have two friends from long ago who entered into this world and were victorious last night. Final numbers are not all in at this point, but it appears that both have been victorious. One is moving to the House of Representatives in Washington, representing his district in Oklahoma (James Lankford.) The other is moving to Austin to serve in the Texas House as a Representative from his west Texas district (Jim Landtroop.) These are great men and yet they have a very heavy task ahead of them and while they, like others, have planned and politicked on what they will do, they are now expected to put feet to their words. I'm praying for them and others in office. I understand that no one is serving in a role of leadership in government apart from being placed there by the providence of God. I also know some Christians that just have a hard time believing that God is truly in control.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Romans 13:1 (ESV)
The "Now what?" question isn't reserved for politicians.
In Major League Baseball, the headline today is related to Cliff Lee. Interesting that just a few days after the San Francisco Giants win the World Series, that the headlines are about a pitcher for the team they beat, the Texas Rangers. The question that Lee is being asked is "Now what?" He's a free agent and the baseball world is wondering where he will play next season. He hints that he will stay with the Rangers, but also admits he will see what other offers are out there.
This question is also being asked by thousands of high school seniors and their parents. Believe me, I am asking this myself. Though some students have their entire life planned following high school, most are still weighing options regarding college, military, or work.
This question is being asked by many in our church regarding the announcement regarding moving our contemporary service to the main campus and shift from having a worship service at a satellite campus to growing our missional expressions in the community.
Our Jacksonville Baptist Association is asking this question as we seek to find the man to serve as our next Director of Missions.
The Florida Baptist Convention is asking this question collectively as the proposal from the "Imagine If Great Commission Resurgence Task Force" proposals are presented at our annual meeting next week.
The Southern Baptist Convention approved the denomination-wide GCR Task Force recommendation, but there's still the question floating out there "OK, we approved it. . .now what?"
There are many times we are faced with this question. It's often when we are working toward a goal, whether personally, church-wide, or community-wide. Once the goal is reached or the deadline comes, we struggle with what to do next.
It is at these times we need reminding that it is not all up to us to determine our next steps. In fact, we're better off when we aren't making these decisions on our own.
So, in light of this question being asked in so many venues, I go back to Scripture that gives us insight and a great reminder that our story has an author and He leads us in the "now whats" of life.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 (ESV)
The question now is "Are you in the Word and are you following His lead?" It's a test of trust.