~Mark 1:17 (the Bible)
Several weeks ago, I met with a friend of mine for lunch. I had just left a job that had been draining me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually; and I was completely exhausted. My friend asked me the following question: "If you could do whatever it is you want to do with your life right now, what would it be?"
The quote at the beginning speaks of Jesus passion for reaching people with the good news that He would save people from having to pay an eternal penalty for their sins. He was single minded in his pursuit of the hearts, minds, and souls of the men and women who chose to follow Him. Do you think He was successful? He had obstacles! Adopted by a carpenter who married a pregnant woman, in an era where the very thought of questionable parentage made a man unclean by birth. Raised in Egypt, Galilee, and Nazareth...often he was in a strange land. Yet, God gave Him the vision He needed to accomplish His task here on earth. And it was accomplished. In spectacular fashion, as the entire human race can now attest. Virtually every human being either loves or hates Him, receives or denies Him...there is very little middle ground. Vision, action, results.
Think about that question. What is the VERY FIRST thing that comes to mind? Are you doing it? If so, congratulations! If not, why not? Chances are, the first thing that came to mind is a goal or dream you have thought about, but perhaps were afraid to turn into reality. Is it a reasonable goal? Is it something that lines up with your deeply held values? Think about and make a list of the obstacles which are getting in the way of your dream. It cannot hurt to make a list, right? My advice is to pray as you go through this process.
Which obstacles can be overcome with a few simple steps? Circle them. Write down a step to take to overcome the obstacle. Think about it--once you have overcome those, what is going to stop you from overcoming some of the larger ones? Some barriers look impossible to overcome...I am too old/too young, I cannot possibly afford to _____, I cannot ______; you fill in the blank. Remember, where there is a will there is a way. Too young? Wait a while and learn all you can in the meantime. Too old? Grandma Moses started painting when she was 80. Can't afford it? If it is a worthy dream, scale back your lifestyle and save your pennies, then start your endeavor on a small scale. Now, there may be some exceptions having to do with external restraints--for instance, if your dream is to join the military and you are 80 years old...you would not make the age requirement due to the military's rules! Learn to differentiate between self-made obstacles and external restraints, remembering that God can overcome all obstacles!
Start taking those steps that you listed to overcome the obstacles. Pray and act. Act and pray. If you read through the accounts of Jesus' ministry you will see that is exactly what He did throughout His time on earth. You will find that as you start the process of fulfilling a vision, each step becomes more exciting and invigorating.
The first set of results is the actual steps you take as you remove obstacles which are in the way of reaching a goal. How encouraging! Keep going...
The second result is actually reaching the goal. What happens then? You celebrate, then set the next goal! Because once you have set and reached a goal, you realize that it is worth working hard to achieve your dreams.
As a teenage mom, I didn't think I had much of a future. Over time, I realized that I could set goals and achieve my dreams despite many obstacles--developing vision, taking action, and seeing results. So far I have been very blessed to have graduated high school, which many teen parents never do, then continued on to an undergraduate and graduate degrees in college. Currently I am taking steps to start a business. Will it succeed? I have no idea, but I have to try! God knows.
What are you fishing for?