Just the other day, I went for a run in the Colorado mountains. Snow, rocks and mud covered the trail, making it critical for me to watch where my feet hit the ground. I am out of shape, and I needed to run, but I could not let my goal to finish blind me from where my feet were landing along the way.
When it comes to pursuing the plans God has for your life, moving toward them is essential, but it is not enough. If you are hiking a mountain, mindlessly running to the top does not guarantee a successful climb. You have to watch where your feet are going, what’s in front and beneath you to identify the obstacles ahead.
Sometimes, when we’re young, we just let life happen, not making an effort to prepare ourselves for the future. But God has called us to live with intentionality, using the gifts that He has given to pave the way for His will in our lives. Often, we commit to a life of sacrifice, but are unaware of the destructive roadblocks hindering our journey.
Too often, we start running toward our future and wonder how we were wounded when we never watched where our feet were going. Running toward the plans God has for you is necessary, but it is not enough. As you commit to spending yourself in ways that change the world, it is essential to identify the obstacles that may hinder you from spending yourself well.
Here are five common roadblocks to avoid as we live the adventurous life God has called us to:
Committing To Too Much
When you overcommit, you can disable yourself from doing anything with excellence. The more things you add to your plate, the less joy you will find in what you are doing. Our broken world needs you to do your best at a few things, rather than do your average at many things. Less is more if less is done well.
There is a balance between overcommitment and under-commitment that is impossible to find without the Holy Spirit. But since He is with us, we can discern how much is healthy for us to be committed to.
Under-committing can mean not giving your full effort to the things you have committed to or simply not making any lasting commitments—to an idea, cause, group, nonprofit, church and so on. When you choose not to give your full effort to what you commit to, you give yourself an excuse to not act. When that happens, it becomes easy to feed ourselves the lie that we are not capable of changing the world. Find ways to fill your time which challenge you to be more, give more, and live more fully.
Often, we fail to trust in God’s sovereignty to accomplish what needs to be done. We try to fill in for Him by taking on too much and intervening where we see fit, all the while forgetting what God is capable of doing.
When we underestimate God’s strength, it becomes easy to try and take on the responsibility of being “God.” We become quickly discouraged when things go wrong or when we inevitably mess up. But remember, the same God who empowers us with strength is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
Waiting For the Perfect Time
Waiting for the perfect time to pursue your dreams is a sure way to watch your dreams fade or eventually die. Telling yourself that you will “do it later” or “when this or that happens” often creates excuses to hide behind in order to remain idle.
Waiting for things to line up perfectly before you are willing to jump and act requires no faith, no trust and no God. Be willing to spend your life in a way that changes the world now, and give God an opportunity to provide, protect and lead you, starting today.
Doing It Alone
At some point in your life, you realize accountability and mentorship are vital. Trying to do everything yourself is the quickest path to burnout. World changers have support systems, they have people who know and challenge them and people who work alongside them. An ancient proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
God has placed dreams in your heart that will help to restore the broken world we live in. Can we commit to personally run toward our dreams with wisdom? Let’s commit to not be afraid to move and also not be willing to run without watching our steps.