Day after day I have driven past a new house going up at the end of our street. The rock columns and wood accents along the roof line almost help me imagine the house finished with a cute yard, and a welcome sign on the door. Almost. Mostly I am just tired of the dumpster and porta-potty. The red mud and the trash left behind by workers are not my favorite. I look for progress each day, thinking maybe it’s getting close, but folks it’s taking a while to finish this house.
I need completion and I need it fast.
If my husband ever asks me to consider building our own home, I will know that he actually doesn’t know me at all. I just can’t. I also cannot consider a marathon or quilting, or anything else that takes forever to finish.
Yet, some of the greatest things in life only come with hard work and waiting, stretched out over a long period of time. That messy unfinished construction site will one day be someone’s home, their beautiful refuge from the elements, a place to invite friends and family. A well-built house takes time.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it took Noah and his sons over 100 years to build a boat, yet I want to reach my goals and finish major projects instantly. To be honest, when something takes longer than I am comfortable with, I often just quit.
Persistence. Endurance. Patience.
When I read about someone with these qualities, someone whose desires and dreams came true because they didn’t quit, I am amazed. When the going gets tough and the same obstacles reappear day after day, and they’re tired and discouraged, YET remain faithful, I am in awe. Noah, you are my hero. Thomas Edison, more power to you!
I am coming to grips with the fact that endurance is not a quality I see in my life. I bail easily. I make excuses faster than I want to admit. I let go of dreams and stop short of reaching goals because it feels hard and it’s taking too long. Comfort has become my default setting.
This year is my year to allow God to develop persistence in me. I know and believe that the only thing in my way is the woman staring back at me in the mirror each day. Everything I need to reach my goals has been provided by my creator. My resources are not what’s holding me back. I am.
So then I must ask myself, just how badly do you want to reach these goals? How deep is your desire to be all that God has created you to be this year? If your dream is from the Lord, how hard will you go after it? What do you not want to regret this time next year?
I believe with all of my heart the words of Jeremiah 29:11- God DOES have a plan, a purpose for me. However, I often forget that my enemy has one too. His plan is not complicated. He seeks to kill, steal, and destroy the purpose my creator has for me. He does that in my life through weariness, discouragement, and doubt. He gets me off track by offering comfort as an alternative to the abundance God has for me. There is beauty on the other side of my faithfulness, my persistence to go hard after God’s best. Yet, I settle for what’s easy.
I want this year to be the year I didn’t give up, the year that my determination and my dependence on the strength of the Lord carried me through. It would be a shame, not to mention annoying, if the builders do not finish that house. (I can’t take much more of the porta-potty.) There is something the Lord wants to finish in me as well. He has given me everything I need to follow his calling; His Spirit living in me and his Word guiding me.
I choose today to keep going. I’m putting on my big-girl panties and calling my excuses what they are- excuses. No more whining or retreating to the comfy chair. My Savior has offered all he has to lead me to victory. That’s where I’m headed.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13