Most people are able to empathize with the statement that life is a fight. If you are someone interested in being effective, bringing change, and making a difference your life will have many fights and battles. The question is, are you fighting the good fight?
It does not matter what role you play, whether a CEO, stay-at-home mom, sales person or whatever specific title resides under your name on your business card, we all face daily battles. Battles to keep the organization moving toward the vision, battles to teach and discipline our children in order for them to become mature adults, battles to show people a new way of life that allows them to focus more on their goals and dreams.
Doubt is one of the biggest obstacles every human being will face throughout their life. Overcoming these hurdles with faith and perseverance is a primary key to achieving success in the vision and goals you set for yourself. Let’s talk through a few ways to face doubt and increase our faith.
First, I think it’s important to state that we should deal with doubt. Having doubts are not a bad thing. In fact, our doubts can give us insight into problems and trouble areas in our visions and goals, which allow us to fix them before we have spent too much time going in the wrong direction. Where doubts become obstacles is when they paralyze us from moving forward and instead stall us out, or worse, cause us to move backwards in fear.
Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.
I have yet to meet someone who would turn down the opportunity to find a little more joy and happiness in their day so here are three things I’ve been doing to help do just that.
Now, before we jump into the three ways to discover more joy in your day, here is a pre-list freebie.
Are you tired and exhausted? Are you worn down by the aches and pains of decaying body? Do you live in a cloud of mild depression because life didn’t go as you intended and the goals and dreams of your youth are all but a distant memory? Are you broken by the realities of a sinful world that has brought pain and devastation to your previous safe and comfortable life? Do you the feel the weight of failure as a spouse or a parent and your inability to be the person who can solve every problem that comes your way?
In Mark 5:21-43 we meet two people who easily fit into the categories above.
When a woman becomes pregnant, she expects to deliver a baby in nine months. As the due date approaches the sense of urgency rises. Is the house ready for this new life? Is the crib built? Is the carseat installed? Do we have enough bibs and blankets? (You can never have enough bibs…babies are constant and consistent droolers.) For you, there was a moment when you had a goal, a vision, a sense of purpose you were walking towards. You expected to conquer your goal and make your vision a reality. Where did your sense of expectancy go?
Earlier, I talked about having a sense of urgency in life. But if we only have urgency and not expectancy we will be nothing but anxious and stressed out. What we need is the two-fold tandem of urgency and expectancy.
A higher rate of urgency does not imply ever-present panic, anxiety, or fear. It means a state in which complacency is virtually absent.
A young boy is fighting against the riptide and begins to drown. A pregnant woman’s water breaks and the closest hospital is an hour away. A man’s climbing harness breaks and he clings to the rope with all his might. These are situations where a sense of urgency swells within us. The time for conversation and deliberation has passed and quick action is needed. When I look at my own life and the lives of many of the people around me, I see more often than not a lack of urgency and it’s slowly sucking the life from our intended trajectories and legacies.
Is your life marked by urgency? Or is it marked more by slothfulness, laziness, and apathy?
One of my big takeaways from doing my annual review of 2013 was evaluating how I rest on my day off. I discovered in late 2013 that the way I was resting was actually not very restful and did little to replenish me for the week ahead. I made three changes in 2014 and I am seeing a lot of benefit from these simple adjustments.
I work six days a week with my workweek being Sunday through Friday. That means that Saturday is my one day off a week and if I’m not purposeful with it, it won’t take long before I’m sucking wind and burnt out from not replenishing my system with proper rest.
Do you consider yourself a joyful person? For me, I had never really given it much thought until recently. That is, until I stepped foot in Ethiopia and my view on joy moved from just thoughts to actual application. I hope what I found in Dilla, Ethiopia inspires you to search and find for yourself. And hopefully it won’t cost you a trip around the world…or maybe it will.
I spent the last week in Ethiopia teaching at a conference for church leaders and laying the foundation for leading multiple trips to this country with the church that I serve. Our flight from Seattle had a stop in Dubai where we spent the night before flying to Ethiopia. The contrast between the city of Dubai, one of the richest in the world, and the country of Ethiopia, one of the poorest in the world, could not be more stark.