As my husband drove me into work this morning, I couldn’t help but notice the rubbernecking that was occurring on the other side of the highway. As I observed that there wasn’t any debris in the road and that those involved in the accident had already pulled over onto the shoulder, it was clear that there wasn’t any reason for the rubbernecking. But is there ever?
For some reason this traffic misfortune caught my attention this morning more than usual and the more that I pondered, I heard a small still voice say “No More Rubbernecking”. It struck a cord instantly. And I’m sure it can with you as well as it applies to us in every area of our lives; our career goals, our dreams and aspirations, our visions and plans for the future. We can no longer stare aimlessly at what others are doing while slowing down our own progression. We can no longer slow down those that are behind us who are waiting for us to move forward. No More Rubbernecking. We have got to focus and stay focused with a target in mind.
Study how others before you have done it and been successful. It’s going to take endurance and it’s going to take discipline. You’re going to have to drive through a long litany of hostility and a host of other things that could be in your view but stay focused. No More Rubbernecking!
The regular and repeated way that we experience inevitable opposition is a great reminder to us all that only God can be completely long-suffering. When I think of long-suffering, I think of the waves of the ocean and its movement. I think of the predictable way that your body is forced to move if you’re standing along the shore in the water. Predictable because you can expect to be moved but unpredictable because you can’t always tell how forcible the tide will be. While suffering wrong or injustice our natural response is to hand in our resignation and to run in the opposite direction. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can have an active response to opposition that includes patience – bearing up under our tidal wave and turning it into glory. Love over everything. Godly principles have to rule over our fury and the push to act out. It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will continue to develop me so that my walk embodies an attitude that no circumstance can destroy and that one that allows me to endure the waves. I want to always see the beauty in the motion; the ebb and flow of long-suffering. To God be the glory!
You were not created to be a professional spectator. Don’t allow life to pass you by while you watch others live out their dreams. Let your passion be your fire. Your purpose is waiting.
Are you feeling ho-hum? Are you losing your zeal for life? Is work dragging you down? Do you have a feeling of emptiness that you can’t shake? Are you all of sudden finding it harder to drag yourself out of the bed or out of the house? I get it, I’ve been there recently. Do you find yourself caught up in a reality TV rut or a mindless funk that you can’t bind?
These are all symptoms of what I call Noeffortitis – NO-EFFORT-ITIS! (this is a fictional term). I can talk about the symptoms of Noeffortitis because I’ve experienced them. It’s a disease of the mind. It can be a result of arrogance, entitlement, just old fashioned laziness or a myriad of other things that occur in our mind, heart and emotions. It’s like being infected with a faith-without-works bug. What happens is that our purpose or what some of us call dreams become stale and no longer become a priority. Getting caught up in the euphoria of a recent victory or accomplishment can be one cause. We become relaxed as if the battlefield and the enemy has disappeared and we won’t have anymore battles to prepare for. Another cause can be the subtle choice of idolatry; something or someone becomes more important that the one that gave us the purpose in the first place. We don’t mean for it to happen but it or they become such a good thing to us that we loose our edge and trade it for self-gratification. I believe the more common cause of Noeffortitis is arrogance. We become so used to winning that we forget that winning is a result of fighting. Winning becomes expected rather than sought after. Before we know it, these attitudes and behaviors can become so predominant in our lives that our faith, fire and focus diminishes. This decline can have a domino effect in every aspect of our lives and can leave us feeling stuck! We become unable to even articulate what we’re feeling. We become too frustrated to pray. Stubbornness settles in and we begin to feel deflated. It’s a perpetual dark hole. Meanwhile everyone around us seems as if they’re floating right past us. How can we shake this off?
The only cure for Noeffortitis is a repetitive concoction of confession, repentance, prayer and the word of God that becomes a way of living. Having a joyous life requires a conscious effort to pursue the purpose that we’re pregnant with. No matter the reason, when we put no effort towards our divine appointments, we delay the promises and frankly stifle our personal spiritual growth. There is a high price to pay for losing our passion and focus, it’s called stagnation.
I encourage you to recognize the symptoms of Noeffortitis, seek out the cure, shake it off and get back to where you belong. As children of God we belong in a persistent place of peace and prosperity. When we experience anything opposite of those characteristics, we have to check ourselves and reclaim our faith, fire and focus!