Author: A.W. Tozer
Are you sometimes perplexed about the path in which God has led you on? I’ll answer my own question, I often contemplate about this. I even look at myself drive in regards to having Initiative to maintain my faith. Sometimes the status quo has been so bad for so long you no longer even notice you’re struggling. When awful is the order of the day, it’s easy to lose sight of a real need to step back and regroup.
Maybe you’re a business owner whose company is failing. Maybe you’re a manager who is overwhelmed and no longer certain you have or can even find the answers. Or maybe you’re an entrepreneur who no longer believes in your idea.
No matter who you are, if any of the following strikes a chord, take action. If you don’t, your problems will get worse before they get better:
1. You avoid answering your phone. Not because you’re too busy but because you use voicemail to protect yourself from angry customers, pissed-off staff, or the need to explain why you messed up. When things are going well, phone calls are welcome distractions; when you’re struggling, you hate the phone and everything it represents. And you love caller ID.
What to do: Simple. Answer the phone. Every time. Sure, it will suck, but each time you’ll have one less problem to dread. (And your damage control skills will improve. Win-win.)
2. Your to-do list is depressing, not energizing. A to-do list should be fun. Completing tasks, knocking off projects, taking care of business… all fun — or at least fulfilling. Until they’re not. When you’re struggling it’s easy to put aside larger projects to focus on the tasks you can complete, no matter how irrelevant those tasks may be… just so you can feel you accomplished something.
What to do: Step back. Re-prioritize and rewrite your list. Pick the highest priorities — like what might jeopardize your peace or a major relationship — and put everything else aside. Your desk can wait.
3. You talk more about what you would like to do than what you are doing. Ambitions are great. Dreams are wonderful. Hang on to them. But when all you talk about is what you would prefer to do, you’re lost.
What to do: Taking care of today is a requirement. Dreaming about tomorrow is a luxury you earn. No whining or fantasizing until today is a win.
4. You feel your only hope is “the big idea.” Watch gamblers before the last race of the day at a horse track; if you think desperation is invisible, you’re wrong. When we’re in trouble big ideas are in short supply and rarely viable.
What to do: Small ideas and big efforts can turn desperation into triumph. Ninety-nine percent of the time you already know what you need to do — you just don’t want to do it. Tough. Do it.
5. You value forward projections more than day-to-day results. I have a friend who loves creating sales forecasts, five-year plans, estimated cash flow projections… but refuses to look at weekly operating statements. He hates current performance reports because they’re awful. So he ignores them. What to do: Every day check out financial reports, productivity results, key performance indicators… whatever drives your faith or your life. Knowing where you stand so you know exactly where to go is the only way to make a bad situation better.
6. You focus on “how” rather than “why.” A sure sign you’ve lost control is when process matters more than results, because when results are in question the only thing you may feel you can control is the process. When you argue more about how something should be done rather than why it should be done, you’re struggling: To maintain control, to maintain your identity, to maintain some sense of self you feel you’ve lost…
What to do: Let go. How is interesting; but why is all that matters. If you feel you can’t let go, ask someone for advice and follow their advice. Can turning the corner be this easy when you’re really struggling? Sometimes yes, often no. All of these are self talk principles I’ve tried to align with my faith talk, when all I need is “Faith.” Read Genesis 12:1-9
New International Version (NIV)
The Call of Abram
12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
One of the smartest people I know is a college friend who became a Christian while studying at Syracuse University. He graduated with honors and went on to study at a respected seminary. He served a small church far from family and friends. After twelve years at that church, he sensed that the congregation needed new leadership, so he stepped down. He hadn’t been offered a job at a bigger church or a teaching position at a college or seminary. In fact, he didn’t even have another job. He just knew that God was leading him in a different direction, so he followed.
When we discussed it, my friend said, “A lot of people talk about being called to something, but I don’t hear much about being called from something.” In many ways, my friend’s obedience was like that of Israel’s patriarch Abraham, who went out, not knowing where God was leading. Difficulties like famine, fear, and family disputes gave reason for doubt, but Abraham persevered and because of his ‘Faith” God counted him as righteous ( Galatians 3:6). My God I am struggling to believe fervently that a life of obedience may not be easy, but it will be blessed (Luke 11:28).
As Abraham went out,
Not knowing where he was going;
Now, Lord keep me from doubt,
To go the way you are showing. –In Jesus name…Amen
You don’t need to know where you’re going if you know God is leading.. Stay on your knees in pain and let God change you….
A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson