A few years ago, I read a story about a man (let’s call him Mr. X). Mr. X decided to stop attending church services because of the attitude of other members of his church. However, before executing his plan, Mr. X decided to pay a final visit to his Pastor to explain the rationale for his decision.
His Pastor listened attentively to all of Mr. X’s complaints without any interruptions. When the Pastor finally spoke, he had one last request – an unusual one. He asked Mr. X to carry a glass filled with water from the entrance of the church to the pulpit without spilling a drop of water. If Mr. X succeeded at the task, he would approve of his decision.
“That’s not so difficult,” Mr. X thought to himself. So, he agreed to his Pastor’s ridiculous request.
Mr. X set out to accomplish the task with a glass filled with water. As he began, he realized that the task was not as easy as he had anticipated. “Is this even possible?” Mr. X asked himself initially. However, since he was determined to leave the church, he decided that he would do whatever it took to convince his Pastor.
The walk from the entrance of the church to the pulpit seemed unusually long. Also, there were so many distractions on the way. Mr. X knew he had to eliminate every distraction and focus his gaze on the glass of water if he was going to avoid any spills. In addition, he needed to walk very slowly (taking each step at a time) to get to his destination.
After a couple of hours, Mr. X successfully completed the task.
Feeling accomplished, Mr. X went to the Pastor to tell him that he had completed the task. The response of the Pastor is one that I will never forget. He said, “if only you would focus on Jesus the way you focused on the glass of water, you would not have any complaints and leaving the church would not be an option.”
That day, I learned a fundamental principle that applies to my spiritual life and every other area of my life.
So many times, we focus on the wrong things and make decisions based on these things. We are often distracted by the progress and accomplishments of others that we fail to focus on our own journey. The reality is no two persons have exactly the same journey. Our goals, values, beliefs, and habits are different and are important determinants of success. No matter how it seems, no one has their lives all figured out. We are all trying to figure things out along the way. Like Mr. X, we need to learn to eliminate distractions and focus on our growth – our journey.
While we celebrate the wins and successes of others, we should understand that everyone has their time and seasons. Your time would undoubtedly come. Do not walk away from the obstacles on your path. Instead, have an action plan to surmount the challenges and stick with your plan. Take one step at a time; ensure you do something daily that brings you closer to your destination. It may take a while, but things will work out eventually. Trust the process.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV)
Categories: My Devotionals