In 1866 a man named C.S. Reynolds started a church in what would become Clearwater Florida. He started with a handful of faithful followers and established the first Baptist church in the area.
That was 150 years ago this month. Pastor Reynolds had no idea what the long term results of his endeavor would be. He was just being faithful to the call he had received from God. He started with what he had and believed God would multiply.
And the seeds he planted all those decades ago are still producing fruit. This month Calvary Baptist Church is celebrating it’s 150th anniversary. The City of Clearwater just celebrated it’s 100th anniversary. That’s right, the church has been here longer than the city.
Yesterday a United States Congressman addressed the congregation and thanked the church for their impact on the community for the past 150 years. In the church archives there are records of time when things were tough. Times of financial hardship and broken relationships that required God’s healing hand. But the church has persevered. The message of the Gospel is still being proclaimed.
At the end of an entire weekend of celebration, our pastor talked about how one man heard God’s call and answered it in 1866. Not unlike the many examples of God’s people in the Bible who couldn’t know the impact their obedience would have, C. S. Reynolds was faithful and said “Yes,” to God’s call without any idea what would come of it.
The question put to the congregation at the end of yesterday’s service was this, “What can you do today that will matter in 150 years?”
I have been thinking a lot about this. What am I doing that will matter? Are there things I COULD be doing that I’m not? What kind of choices am I making every day that will impact my future and someone else’s?
We aren’t all called to start churches or lead movements. We aren’t all called to be in the spotlight. Many of us are just called to be faithful in our own little corner of the world. To be the parent our kids need us to be, willing to invest in them. To be the helpmate to our spouses, supporting them and working along side them. To be a true friend to someone God has put in our lives.
Sometimes it doesn’t look like much but we can’t begin to know what God will do with the little seeds we are willing to put in the ground, trusting Him to bring the growth and produce the fruit.
What are you doing today that will matter in 150 years? Maybe that’s too long range to comprehend. Perhaps you can just consider what you are doing that will matter tomorrow, or next week or next year.
The important thing is to be intentional about doing something that matters. We can so easily get caught up in the daily routine that we can forget that God put us here for a purpose.
Ultimately, it’s not about whether it matters this week, or next year or in 150 years. The real question is ,” will it matter in eternity?”
John 6:27 Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.
Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.