Charles Swindoll, in his book The Finishing Touch, recalled starting his ministry in California.
After many years of pastoring in a small town, he suddenly faced a city teeming with people. As he thought about the enormity of the task ahead, God reminded him that it was impossible to reach everyone. His responsibility was to make a difference in the lives of those he came in contact with.
In his words, “I stopped paying attention to the enormity of the impossible and started pouring my time and energy into the possible.” This made all the difference for him.
I don’t know about you, but I relate to this story. Often I have been faced with seemingly impossible tasks. Something big becomes overwhelming and I don’t know how to cope. That’s when I need to focus on the next possible step. God will direct me to achieve what is needed.
Another quote I like is by Lysa Terkeurst, from her book Embraced. “Even if you don’t know all the details of your calling quite yet, thank God for making you perfectly equipped for your assignment ahead. And when insecurities start to make you doubt, flip it around and say, “God, I may doubt myself, But I will not doubt You. So, I will let Your perfection override my feelings of imperfection and do what You instruct me.”
The lesson for me is to trust God and not to rely on my own strength. Each morning He provides me with what I need in order to accomplish his plan for that day. The perfection of God will always override my imperfection and turn the enormity of the impossible into something possible.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:23 NLT)
I was listening to a speaker who specializes in resiliency training. She told us resilience is the ability to bounce back.
Among the factors that enter into this are goals, intentions, mindset, mental and physical energy. A good reminder to take care of ourselves in all these areas came from her statement, “You are your number one asset.” The part of her presentation I found most interesting had to do with the practice of exercising our minds. I learned that when we do something differently we are creating new neural pathways. This is the equivalent of a gym workout for our brains.
Now, here comes the exciting news. When we exercise our brains we actually burn more calories. An example of this was that walking backwards burns ten times as many calories as walking forwards!
In other words, when I try something new, it’s good for me physically and mentally.
I think of all the times I chose to remain in my safe little comfort zone rather than stretching out of it to try new things. Little did I know how much was at stake. Not only was it more difficult to bounce back from the setbacks in life, I was robbing both my brain and my body of stimulation they needed to keep me healthy.
The next time I’m tempted to play it safe, I think I’ll walk backwards, create some new neural pathways and rethink that decision!
“People who soar are those who refuse to sit back, sigh and wish things would change. They neither complain of their lot nor passively dream of some distant ship coming in. Rather, they visualize in their minds that they are not quitters; they will not allow life’s circumstances to push them down and hold them under.” Charles Swindoll