Do you know what one of the words successful people never use is? Try. When I heard that question a bunch of different words went through my head… try was not one of them. Over the years I have come to not be a fan of the word try. I’m really not. I probably say it more than I should. I hear it all the time… I’ll try to do this…I’ll try to do that. One of my friends said it to me last night in a text and my first thought was “she is giving herself permission to fail”. There is no commitment in trying…trying gives you an out.
So, do you know what scripture says about trying? “No one that puts his hand to the plow and then turns back is fit for the Kingdom of God” Well that is harsh… and mind you this is in the red letters…right out of the mouth of Jesus…
I can think of so many times that I have thought “my life would be so much easier if I just gave up…”, (and to be honest…there have been times that I have walked away, especially when I was younger) but every single time that I kept my hand to the plow…it was so worth it! A clear memory of a time when I kept my hand to the plow and kept running the race would be our 2014 women’s retreat. Early on in the planning process I had a dream that the planning team (myself, Vera, and Lauren…pictured to the right) was on a field hockey team (not sure why it was field hockey…pretty sure none of us ever played field hockey) and we were the under dogs playing the best team…there was no hope for us winning, but somehow we did! And it was a beautiful win. 3-0. From the beginning of planning the retreat nothing was going how we planned. NOTHING. We hit every road block that we could possibly hit during planning that year…and then we hit a literal road block a mile or so from the retreat place because of a rock slide (normally not a huge problem, but the other way to get there was like 3o minutes out of the way with no cell service…in torrential down pour). It would have been so easy for us to give up numerous times during the planning…it really felt like everything was against us. But what sweet victory was felt as we closed the retreat. We had run the race…we had made it to the finished line…and it was a beautiful thing.
Don’t give yourself permission to fail. If you commit…then chase…and chase with all you have. If you are running you are so focused on what is in front of you that you literally can’t see what’s behind you. Go ahead…take a run…for real….run after what is in front of you…and run after it fast. Paul encourages believers in Colossians to not try but to work thoroughly and completely, as if for the Lord (Colossians 3:23) and then he encourages the Corinthians to run our race like they will obtain the prize. So go… run… and run with confidence and assurance that you will complete the race in front of you.
photo credit for feature image: Morgan Sessions