As the middle-aged man lay on his rug, the sun’s heat warmed his shriveled legs. “Useless legs,” he scolded himself bitterly. For as long as he could remember, he had never been able to walk on them.
Feeling betrayed by his own body, he grumbled once more about his misfortune. He had tried to seek help the only way he knew how, but he had no one to help him get there. His own body was far too weak to carry him where he needed to go.
Suddenly, he noticed a shadow come over him. Looking up, he saw a younger man peering down at him. “Do you want to get well?”, he queried.
What a bizarre question! Why wouldn’t he want to be able to walk? The problem was, he was at a disadvantage compared to other people so he had given up trying long ago. He’d been stuck in this spot for so long, it was hard to imagine living any other way.
The odds were stacked against him. He had decided he was just unlucky or cursed. Maybe God was punishing him for some forgotten infraction. Perhaps his family was at fault. He explained to the young man why “getting well” was just not an option for him. Other people might be able to get well, but not him.
Have you ever felt like this guy? I sure have. There are days when it is just easier to quit trying to win and surrender to the defeating hand we seem to have been dealt. I have moments when I’d rather stay in my familiar spot even if it’s not ideal because getting up and going anywhere else just seems too hopelessly futile.
In may seem overly obvious, but if you want to win at life, you first must decide you actually want it. You have to deliberately decide to win. You may be like the man in the story about. “Of course I want to succeed!”, you cry. But do you really? Sometimes, we think we want victory but when we’re brutally honest with ourselves, we realize we’d rather make excuses than the effort.
Like the man on the rug, we may look around jealously at others’ success while nursing our own inability to do what they’re doing. But whoever said God called you to do what everyone else is doing? He has a special mission for you with your name on it. But you gotta want it!
Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure. Philippians 2:13, MSG
If you want to win, you have to know your WHY. Why does it matter if you win? What’s riding on your success or failure? Whose lives are impacted if you do what God is calling you to do and live out the purpose for which you were made? What’s at stake if you don’t?Your WHY has to be bigger than your excuses, fears, or failures. #motivation #committed Click To Tweet
If you can’t answer these questions, then spend some time thinking it through with God in prayer. Figure out your WHY and then keep it in front of your focus daily. You must be resolved to motivate yourself. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you. This one’s on you.
Once you know your WHY, you’ve got to get moving. As a recovering perfectionist, I want to wait until everything is in place before jumping in. After years of waiting for the right opportunity, I have come to the conclusion that the perfect opportunity doesn’t come by very often. Sometimes, you have to make your own opportunities by deciding to win and making it happen.
You can’t wait for every light to turn green before you start your trip. Just start driving, making the necessary pauses and course corrections along the way.
You have to start pedaling before you can steer the bike. Get moving and adjust as you go.
Sometimes we don’t even know which direction to start. I often get bogged down by the “paralysis of analysis” monster. A victorious life may require us to take our best calculated guess and start walking.
Starting a new thing is scary but we must overcome our self-limiting beliefs and just do it scared. Is the real reason you’re stuck because you’re afraid of failing?
Once you’ve decided to follow the path God has laid out for you and gotten started down the road, you need to maintain consistency. This is often the hardest part for me. I get started with gusto, but I fizzle out or get distracted when something easier or more interesting pops into view.
Doing a little bit consistently every day will have much better results in the long run than sporadically doing a surge here and there. When you make consistent progress, you can build momentum, which keeps propelling you down further down the path toward your victory. Once you decide to win, you have to make consistent progress toward that goal.Better to finish something imperfectly than never do it at because you thought it was “not good enough”. #motivation Click To Tweet
Before I go, I want to finish the story I started at the beginning of this post. I think you’ll like how it ends. 🙂
Amazingly, the young man was undeterred by the older man’s
excuses explanation. There was no pity in his eyes, no coins tossed toward the other man; just a calm determined look. “Stand up. Pick up your mat and start walking,” he gently commanded.
What an utterly shocking thing to say! The man had laid around helplessly for nearly 40 years and some young guy tells him to start walking! He wanted to scoff, to tell this young optimistic punk that he’s still got a thing or two to learn about how the world really works. But he stopped short.
It was the look that did it. There was such tender compassion in the younger man’s eyes, such hope and assurance. It was like he was encouraging him with his eyes, “trust me.” In spite of the outlandishness of the command, the crippled man felt compelled to obey.
Instantly, he felt a rush of healing power flow through him. For the first time in his life, he rose to his feet. Just as the man had said, he got up, folded up his mat, and started to walk. (John 5:1-15)
What area of your life do you sense God calling you to decide to win? How Can you get up and start walking toward the victory Jesus has for you?