I have always believed that I will live to be 120. I don’t know why that number is so important to me, but I can’t wait to reach it. I literally can’t wait to be that old. People of course look at me like I’m crazy when I say that to them. They always want to remind me that I’ll be uncomfortable, maybe sick, all my friends will be dead… etc. But I honestly can’t wait!
I have this vision in my head. It involves a beautiful gigantic backyard, with umbrellas, lemonade, and sunshine. And all my grandchildren (no pressure Roman and Renee.. but I’m expecting a lot of grandchildren. I want a sea of grandchildren). I want them all to be surrounding me and Christian, and I want to tell them about all the things I have done in my life time. I want to tell them stories of bravery, stories of deep emotion, and I want them to know what it means to be a leader, what it means to live on purpose and what it means to unapologetically follow Jesus. Mostly I want to look back at my own life and know I lived a completely full life, that left an impact. That’s why I want to be 120. I just need a lot of time if I’m going to live that kind of life. A life packed, FULL of greatness.
But then I think of my surroundings. Right now I’m eating a turkey sandwich in the ridiculously small break room of the Starbucks I’m working at. I’m deciding whether or not to go back out there for a refill of my drink with the last 7 minutes I have on my break.
I mean really, thinking about where I’m at, i cant help but think, “what am i doing here?” I have dreams of leading a nation, raising children to lead the world, and i’m spending my days cleaning old milk out of the drains on the floor of a starabucks?
It seems unlikely. It can be frustrating. Maybe you feel this way too.
It can feel as though we have all of this potential, all this willingness to step into the greatness we were created for. There is so much giftedness in us that no one even knows we have. And sure, in a perfect world we could use that ball of amazing-ness (amazeball, if you will) and really make something happen. We could spend all our time and energy solely focused on making our mark on the world.
But lets be real here- sometimes i dont have the enrgy to get off the couch to get my own cup of water after a crazy day. And how in the world can i pay my bills just “being awesome”?
Again, seems unlikely.
We are in a culture that values outcomes. Generally speaking, we do not live in a place that values rest, or allows the time for development. We dont get the opportunity to round out our understanding of how to balance life. If you arent producing results, you don’t count.
How frustrating. I know what’s inside of me,ready to burst out, and I know that I need this season to grow and learn and rest, but as far as anyone else is concerned, I don’t count. Why is our world like this?
What if we, as a culture, put the spiritual and emotional success of an individual on par with career and physical success? What if the journey was as valuable as the destination in actual, day to day reality?
What if everyone wanted to live to be way too old, because they knew they needed every year. They needed all that time to develop themselves, develop their families, expand their vision, and then learn their way to results? None of these things don’t require time.
What would that look like for you?
I would encourage you to take a moment to think about that. Close your eyes and imagine it.
Chances are you are bored with that visualization.
Because again, the reality is you still have to make a living, take care of your chores and tasks, and so on. And vision casting and personal development end up looking like the blank stares of deep thought. In our world, that doesn’t count as productivity.
Some people are actually blessed to have careers or day to day lives that support these time consuming methods of “the journey”. Perhaps they obtained this lifestyle/workplace through perfectly executed strategy, or divine opportunity. But some of us don’t, and this is who I am speaking to.
I would like to encourage those who have had twists and turns to the original “plan for greatness”. Maybe you got laid off from that awesome job that was going to propel you into the next great thing. Maybe you were hit with a serious depression and missed a valuable window of opportunity for the next big move, and now its too late. Maybe your family isnt living up to your expectations, and you feel held back. The list could go on for your specific circumstance, and please know none of those circumstances are insignificant.
But can we still be great, when our strategy for greatness has failed?
I think we can. I think that every step in our journey is on the way to greatness, when we are intentional to make it so.
2 thoughts on this- use what you have in front of you, and realize that it is going to be hard, and that is okay.
The journey of being and doing great is hard in itself. History is proof of this. But when your particular strategy fails, you may be subject to a greater difficulty than you ever knew was possible. But the sooner you embrace the incredible difficulty, and learn how to function in the sweat and pain, the better off you will be! There just isn’t a way to sugar coat this, but the reality is jsut that. It’s hard, and it sucks, and sometimes hurts. This is the price of greatness.
Lastly, know this. Just because you are off track, doesnt mean your track has ended. You may not have the resources you expected, and that can stop a lot of people from moving forward. But if you choose to, you can become your own resource. You can take what you don’t have and re-invent what you need. Where there is a will, there is a way! This is especially true when you have nothing, or have lost too much. Become resourceful, and make the absolute most of what you do have. Don’t waste a thing, and become incredibly observent of what is available. And never take for granted that God always provides.
No matter what, don’t let your situation, and the fact that it isn’t what you expected, stop you. You have been inspired by God for greatness, you are created to be great. Circumstances are much smaller when you live fully, for long enough. Every step is on the way.