The Secret to Discovering your Destiny
And why It’s OK if you don’t know what it looks like
We don’t always realize what “destiny” looks like, and frankly, it almost always looks different than we imagine. Joe Bogue, like many of us, might have had some sense of where he was headed in life when he was 21, but life has a way of proving us wrong, or at least revealing our lack of experience when it comes to long term vision. Joe had a steady job, with a predictable future and stability attached to it. He had three small kids and a wife to provide for. He lived in sunny southern California (how nice!). Oh, and on the side he just happened to volunteer at his church working with the youth group and doing summer camps. Well, one day Joe gets a call that would change the course of his life forever. At the time, the ripple effect was not obvious or even perceivable. What’s funny, is that Joe was not really even asked to take on this new direction. It was sort of thrust upon him. Joe’s pastor called him up to talk. It went something like this:
Pastor: Hey Joe, we need to talk.
Pastor: Vince (Youth Pastor) quit, you’re the man now.
There it is! The powerful moment of destiny that would change the lives of thousands of people! Profound, isn’t it?
In the moment I wouldn’t think so either, but this is a powerful lesson about the subtlety of “destiny”. Sometimes, the biggest impact can come from the most inconspicuous places. It could easily have been missed. Joe could have just as easily said no. But he didn’t. And it was huge.
Joe had plans for his life, but working with the youth group at his church was not a primary long-term focus of his. In fact, he almost left it to pursue career advancement. But something in his heart kept pulling him toward youth ministry. One thing lead to another and Joe was offered the opportunity to move to a tiny town in Southeast Texas, to a tiny church, to be the youth pastor.
So, for perspective: leave all that you know, your hometown, your extended family, everything that is sure and stable, pick up your family (young wife and 3 small kids), and move to a town where you have none of that.
Of course, Joe didn’t take it, right? That would make no sense, right? Well, something in his heart knew it was right. (There is conventional wisdom and there is the heart. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they don’t. Always follow your heart.) God was pulling Joe toward something much bigger than he would realize at the time.
So, what does the ripple effect of that one decision to become a youth pastor look like: Fast forward 20 years. Joe served as youth pastor at that tiny Texas town church for 18 years. Yes, 18 years as a youth pastor! Then he transitioned to Senior Pastor, where he serves now. He founded an annual week-long youth camp (now known as Experience Youth Camp…hear more about this and what makes it so amazing in the podcast episode!) that has changed the lives of thousands of young people and adults, and he has mentored countless others, myself included. If there was ever a doubt that Joe made the right choice, it is gone now. Joe’s legacy is powerful, and its foundation can be traced to bold decisions he made over 20 years ago.
There is a lot to be learned in Joe’s story. Sometimes you have to make big, life changing decisions to follow what is in your heart. Moving with your entire family half-way across the country, without much in the form of guarantees, is really hard to do. But staying still and not moving because it is safe or comfortable is even harder in the long run. You may have a bold choice in front of you. You may have an opportunity available to you that you know deep in your heart is right, but it is uncharted territory. It is scary, uncertain, but it must be traversed. Follow your heart, even if it only leads to the next step. Allow God to lead you into the unknown and trust Him. It’s probably better than what you’ve imagined.
Joe Bogue Resource links: