Have you ever known that there is a change that you need to make in your life but you have absolutely NO desire to execute that change? Have you ever wrestled with the impossibility that you will be able to follow through or be successful in making the change you know is needed? Maybe you know that you need to start an exercise regime, but you’re completely overwhelmed by the prospect of all that is involved with getting to the gym, going out for a run or walk on a regular basis or of sticking out the commitment to be physically fit. Or maybe there is a habit that you know-that-you-know you need to quit but the thought of living without “…” is daunting and totally unappealing. You hate the habit but you NEED the thing you’re attached to, and it makes you almost panicky to think of life without it. Or maybe you want to add healthy choices into your life like better ways of eating, being a more connected friend or serving in your community, but the thoughts of what the cost will be and everything in your life that will have to adjust in order to make room for this new lifestyle is keeping your feet in the blocks.
If any of these life challenge screen shots describes you, I GET IT!! I have been there in each and every one of those tight squeeze places where who I am and who I know I am supposed to be are as far apart as the edges of the Grand Canyon. But I have a word of encouragement for each of us. The good news is that God knows that we cannot traverse that chasm in our own strength. He sets the vision for the next place that He wants to take us and He is fully prepared to get us there. The problem is that since we’re locked in these things called “Time” and “Space”, we get freaked out when the change doesn’t happen overnight. We would prefer that the moment the revelation hits that we should start to exercise, cut out sugar, stop cussing, turn our gossiping and critical mouth into a thankful and praising mouth, or start being faithful in reading the Bible and prayer, that the desire and the ability to execute would also be there.
But it doesn’t work that way. Unfortunately, I have found that the Preview of Coming Attractions comes way before either the desire or the ability. And even once the desire comes, it can be quite a while before the strategy or the ability come as well. And that can cause a lot of frustration (What is wrong with me? Why do I still fall short in this area? Why can’t I quit “…”? Why can’t I start “…”? and so on). But from this frustration is born the moment of choice that God needs from us. He will never shove His will down our throats. He simply pulls back the curtain and lets us see the better way but at the end of the day, it will always be our choice whether we want to go down the path that will bring life and freedom or remain in the place where we are.