I love track meets! When the Olympic Games come around every four years, the track events are the ones that get my attention. My favorite track events are the relays, the sprints, and the hurdles.
I love the relays because of the precision and teamwork necessary. The winning team is not always the one that has the four fastest competitors.
I love the sprints because it is just flat out amazing to see people run that fast.
And then we have the hurdles – speed vs. barriers. Many a pre-race favorite has lost a race because he stumbled over one hurdle.
Other than my 4th place finish in the 4th-grade elementary hurdles event in 1972, I have never run a hurdles race, but I’ve seen a ton of hurdles in real life and have stumbled over more than one.
Hurdles are everywhere. In this post I want to mention three of them.
In a previous post, I mentioned my favorite son-in-law’s work in the mental health field. He told me that he uses a three point process with many of his clients to help them move forward: (1) Develop hope; (2) Set a plan; (3) Implement.
We didn’t go into great detail in this conversation, but it occurs to me that this process identifies three hurdles that we all have to get over if we are going to reach any goal.
Hurdle #1 – Hopelessness. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” Many a person has been defeated by hopelessness and the belief that she is destined to be a loser. Part of the problem is that we don’t recognize the resources available to us. Can I handle everything? Of course not! As a follower of Jesus, do I have resources far beyond what I can handle? Absolutely! But all the resources of heaven and earth in the hands of someone who has lost hope will result in nothing.
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” - Henry Ford Click To Tweet
Hurdle #2 – Aimlessness. Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” I have been known to fly by the seat of my pants, create on the fly, make it up as I go, and be proud of my ability to be spontaneous and flexible. I have also been known to get lost. The truth is that I am never going to embrace detailed plans (I’m just not wired that way). However, a clear vision of a desired outcome and a few clear action plans give me enough of a sense of direction to allow for flexibility and creativity that are actually strategic. As a follower of Jesus, my primary aim is to demonstrate His character in every thing I do. That provides positive momentum.
“If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” - Zig Ziglar Click To Tweet
Hurdle #3 – Passivity. It never just happens. It never works itself out. Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” The most optimistic and clearly defined goals will never happen without implementation. At some point, you have to hit the launch button. If we wait until everything is perfect, we will never move. Start it. Do it. When it’s wrong, fix it and get going again. As a follower of Jesus, I’m reminded that my actions do not make me right with God, but they demonstrate that I am right with Him.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” - Wayne Gretzky Click To Tweet
Your life matters. Don’t spend it lying on the track in defeat. The hurdles are bigger than you, but they are not bigger than what God wants to do in and through you.