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Monday, October 18, 2010

At the fork in the road...take it (Part 2)

On Friday, I wrote about the inevitable fork in the road we all must face at times in our lives. But what happens when the decision is made? As Ladyfriend likes to say, "then what?"

It's unavoidable. When you've made a commitment to a direction, you will face difficulties. If not immediately, eventually. When I moved to Rocklin, I got laid off of three different jobs in my first six months, and my mom passed away. Many years earlier, when my parents sold all they had to move to Costa Rica to start a ministry, they faced difficulties that would make lesser people crumble. That's the thing. When you make a choice to get serious with God, and you choose the path that requires faith in Him, you will face obstacles and challenges that will cause you to question your decision.

Know this up front. It's going to happen.

This doesn't make you a bad person. This doesn't mean you're a bad Christian. It means that you're human. Yeah, I know. Deal with it.

But when you face difficulties, stick with it! Indecision and doubt will paralyze you. Proverbs 16:3 tells us to commit it all to the Lord. Dedicate what you're doing to the Lord, and He will bless it. He will see that you succeed. The key is, you have to submit your definition of success to God's definition. God's definition isn't necessarily what ours is. People evaluate success by what they can see. The clothes you wear. The car you drive. The house you live in. God evaluates success by what is not visible to the naked eye. What happens in your heart will eventually manifest itself in visible, tangible ways. Whether your heart is evil, or filled with God's love, your heart will be exposed in time.

If you're truly committed to reaching new heights in your faith, you must be willing to plunge to new depths of life experiences. Battles are not won without getting some dirt on your uniform. Taking enemy ground means having to traverse some unpleasant terrain. It's simply the way things are. But in doing so, you will discover your ability to go far beyond your perceived limitations. I thought I knew where my breaking points were. But the only way I could see what I was capable of, was to trust God when I was marching into the teeth of difficulties. I was in too deep. There was no turning back. I was committed. Still, with no regret.

I know I'm not painting a rosy picture. I would be doing you a disservice by telling you that navigating the road less traveled would be like cruising the New England countryside in October. As I have said frequently, time moves forward. By virtue of that, we have no choice but to move forward, as well. Time is like a bulldozer at our backs. It is always nudging, pushing, even forcing us to face things in front of us. The only way we can get past obstacles is to go through them. Think of video games. The only way to get to the next level is to successfully complete the one you're on. You can't say, "nah, this one's too tough. I'll just skip it." There is no greater feeling of accomplishment than overcoming obstacles. Face the challenge, and overcome!

The path of least resistance will not make you stronger in life. If you're serious about being an achiever, an overcomer, then you have to meet your challenges head on. Strap on your armor. Put on your helmet. Grab your sword and shield. Give your best war cry, and watch what God can do in and through you!