Sometimes life is messed up. It isn’t a walk in the park. As a matter of fact, it’s actually more like a sprint through a muddy field running from a massive tornado while giant boulders fall from the sky as your shoelaces are tied together.
Okay… please tell me I’m not the only one that feels that way from time to time. The rest of this may get pretty awkward if it’s just me…
But seriously, life hits hard.
I know that I’ve been in places where my journey was relentlessly kicking my butt. I was searching for a new journey – a new place to be. I didn’t want to run from tornadoes or dodge boulders anymore, I just wanted to move on. Like where is the field of daisies with violins and sounds of music filling the air as puppies frolic through the sunshine? Well… if I was going for a non-awkward vibe, I probably killed that… but anyways…
I think we all just want life to be easier in some areas. We search for the greener pasture when the one we’re in is sub-par, or maybe even horrible. Our current place in life may be really overwhelming, so in hopes of finding that “new place”, we begin to search for it with everything we have. We’re so ready to just be done with the constant attacks; the constant barrage of life beating us to a pulp. I get it – trust me. I have highlighted many times throughout my blog posts of the struggles that I have been through and how I felt so lost, confused, broken, overwhelmed, and just done with it all. That does not mean that I know exactly what you are going through, but it does mean that I at least know the feeling of not wanting to continue on. To be honest, I think every single one of us can relate to that feeling in some sort of way.
Continuing on can be extremely hard, but what may be even harder is staying where you are at. Patience is not easy, but there is a reason it is a virtue.
The Patient Find Purpose
It was late one night with darkness surrounding me. I laid down in my floor, my face shrouded in hands too weak to pick me up. I wanted to be done. No, I was done. I asked God to move me on from where I was at in my life. Exhaustion is the best word I can think to describe how I felt. I simply said one phrase: “God take me to a new place.” I had given up fighting for the vision I thought God had given me for that season – It was just too hard.
For whatever reason, I expected to be in prayer for awhile, but within a moment I heard it in my spirit…
“I can’t take you to a new place until you’re finished with where you’re at.”
“Wait… No. NO. PLEASE NO, God…”
My emotions in that moment were all over the map. I was happy I clearly heard from God, but destroyed by His answer. (This is often why we don’t seek fervently. We are afraid of what He will say) All I wanted was to be at rest and to move past all of my turmoil. I thought about the storms I was dealing with in life and how I just did not have the strength to keep going. I did not understand why I had to keep going. “I don’t want the muddy field and all of its chaos anymore!”
That was when a peace flooded my soul.
I began to calmly evaluate my predicament. What if that muddy field, the tornadoes, the boulders, and the shoelaces tied together are all parts of a much bigger master plan?
Think of it this way:
It’s wise to pack your bags before loading them into your car. It’s wise to study before a test, or practice before you play. In video games you have to pass level one before you go to level two, and so on. If you skip these levels and steps, you skip the journey that prepares you for the finish line. By voiding the process you void the purpose of the plan. Life is never about focusing on the the end goal, but rather the journey that takes you there. Imagine waking up tomorrow and you are 100 years old. You are world renowned, have a beautiful family and everything you ever wanted. You are known for your adventures, breakthroughs, and charitable work all over the planet. You have accomplished every dream and given everything you had your whole life knowing that no time was wasted, but yet… You remember none of it. You didn’t get to live the adventures, enjoy the triumphs, raise your family or even live in the simple joys of life that took place.
What a lonely, heartbreaking feeling it would be to know that you succeeded, while never getting to experience success.
The perspective above may be hypothetical and even an impossibility, but what it proves is that the journey to your goal is more important than anything in achieving it at the end, and honestly your journey may even be more important than the goal itself as everything comes to a close. Goals may change, but your journey will always remain ahead of you even it takes turns and curves.
What if it isn’t Fun Though?
Learning, growing and becoming the best version of yourself starts by accepting that your journey may not always be fun. As a matter of fact it will be the hardest part of your existence, but if you are doing it right it will also be the greatest part of your existence. When you are overwhelmed, that is where God can be given full reign in your life. Where your ability to handle life’s attacks ends, is where your next decision is the most crucial. Will you try to do it alone, or will you give control to the One that holds your future in His hands?
This was the conclusion to my thoughts as I layed on the floor with tears in my eyes that night. No matter how hard it was, I knew there was purpose in my pain and confusion. God had not placed it on me, but He was surely going to use it as an opportunity to teach, mold, and eventually mend me. I had now assigned a purpose to my patience. My journey was now obviously for a reason.
We always ask God to take us to that new place in hopes that the grass is greener on the other side, but in reality that grass probably looks a lot like where you are at already, except you’ve never experienced that grass and you have no idea who else already lives there. Be careful in your attempt to quickly move past the place where you are at, it may just teach you something. For example…
The following is an excerpt from Viktor Frankl’s book entitled “Man’s Search For Meaning” in which he gives a perfect example of the way in which we should all view our lives:
“…the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest. What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him? ‘No, thank you,’ he will think. ‘Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, though these are things which cannot inspire envy'”
Simply put, if we look at life from the standpoint that every day we live through is a day that can teach us, mold us, mend us and shape us then we will eventually complete our journey and look back at it all as worth every step. We will not yearn for the past, nor regret it, because we lived out our possibilities until they turned to realities – a life well lived.
Potential is wonderful when you are young, but as you age, unused potential rots inside like a spoiled gallon of milk when never used. There is an expiration date on potential; a day when it turns from potential into wasted opportunities and painful regret. Make your possibilities realities. Don’t let your potential spoil.
The concept of not looking to the future can be hard, but you can’t focus on your future until you have come to terms with your present and your past. Sometimes we look ahead for a fix that only comes from living in the moments we don’t enjoy.
Take Joseph for crying out loud! Do you think he enjoyed his brothers stripping him of his expensive coat, throwing him in a pit and selling him to slave traders only for him to wind up being betrayed by his new master’s wife and be thrown into prison to rot!?
I doubt it…
But Joseph did something incredible throughout all those years of turmoil. He lived the best he could in every situation, and every moment. He tore the metaphorical calendar pages off the chart and jotted down a few notes to help him in his future. He didn’t beg God to remove him from those places, he simply worshiped and asked for God’s will to be done. He was trusting the process, and it worked out better than if he had never experienced the sufferings.
Let’s just gain one last perspective. You’ve met a new girl/guy on a first date, and they are awesome! You realize this could be the one to bring home to mom and dad, but you need to know more about them first. They could even teach you more about yourself, (Every moment is a learning moment) and you need to have more knowledge and experience with them before knowing if they will fit you and your family or not.
Normal logic says not to bring home the new partner to the family while on the first date, just like you can’t move past the place you’re in now after only the first or second stanza of it has ended! Although that may have never stopped some of you before… Oh what’s that? I should shutup? Okay deal.
But in all seriousness the process God has for us is the best one, and we can’t microwave it to speed it up. (Wouldn’t that be great? No. No it wouldn’t)
Before we move forward in the steps of our relationship with God and the places we are in, we have to be continually aware of the fact that maybe there are just some things that we have to slowly progress into. Not everything is a quick rush, and not every relationship moves at the same speed either. There are many reasons for this, and it doesn’t mean that you are doing something wrong just because it’s taking longer for you than somebody else.
It may be hard, but remember that the place you are in needs you. It needs for you to finish your stay before you move on from it. Work on your now, not your later. Your future relies on the decisions of your present. Don’t try to move somewhere else if you haven’t been moving in where you’re already at. Staying patient does not mean complacency!
Luke 16:10 says “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
If you can be faithful with the little that God gives you then He will give you much. You must be faithful and joyful in the midst of the times that feel like they are giving you very little, because what is produced from your faithfulness in the time of very little will give you exactly what is needed later on. Don’t always beg for the new place, strive to complete your current one.
Like always, much love to you all.
Contact me with any and all questions on:
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