At Champion Church, we know that God is not done with the city of Yuma, Arizona. We know that there are greater things coming on the horizon. It’s January (again!) and there are plenty of things to do in Yuma Arizona in 2017. Each year I hear (and see on social media) so many people talk about how glad they are that the old year is over and that the new one is finally here. “Last year was practice, this year it’s happening!” they say. My favorite is, “New Year! New Me!” The month of January packs out every gym in North America as people shoot for the moon in a mania of passion to get in shape, and then about mid-February, putter out and cancel their membership. We tell ourselves, “If the year can change, so can I!” We set ourselves up for failure when we stop thinking rationally, set our ramp up as high as it will go and drive toward it as fast as we can. I remember the age-old wisdom, “What comes up, must go down,” and unfortunately, the harsh truth is as follows:
The steadier we stay, the more change we create
Seems a bit counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?
Let that sink in for a moment… Take a break… -sigh- Okay, keep reading.
What I mean is that there are more factors involved with helping a dream come into fruition than just passion by itself. Don’t get me wrong, though. I genuinely believe that everyone is capable of accomplishing their dreams, but I think they get caught up in the dream and less “caught” with the unglamorous moments that come with real change. Jesus in the bible talks openly about it when he says, “A person cannot live on bread alone but on every word that God speaks.” in Matthew 4:4 and it’s another way of saying that temporary feelings fade away, but consistent truth (in this case, every word God speaks) stays the same. Passion can’t win the battle alone, you have to marry the feeling with persistence. Many people rely on different sources in their search for persistency. I’ve heard of people writing down their dreams and prayers on paper, looking at it each morning and acknowledging it verbally, others choose prayer in privacy. The bible confirms again and again that we should, “…not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Maybe the break in the pattern of this world for you is no longer accepting the limitations that superiors, co-workers, friends, and even family might have placed on you with negative words spoken to you.
I remember seeing a TED talk not long ago from a school teacher named Angela Lee Duckworth (what a fun name, right?) who left a high paying consulting job to teach seventh grade students in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.[ted id=1733]
I love the quote, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
The war of success and change is not won in a single battle, and similar to the way that new Christians might feel after accepting Christ in their heart, life goes on even though change is happening. It might not be evident, even to you, for months after you’ve decided things are going to be different, but progress is moving forward.
Believe me, friend. I know it’s difficult. Sometimes we hate taking USB stick out of our forehead and turning off the video of the past where we get to re-live how bad life is (or was) and how everyone did us wrong… It’s easy and cheap to live in the shadows of yesterday, but if you want change, you have to stay steady and persevere. Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. Focus on the goal, keep calm and move forward.