Dreams are achieved one opportunity at a time. Many times we want something to work or change now, but God’s timing is impeccable. I get frustrated when things don’t go my way, when my world is shaken, and when I am faced with the reality of moving ahead to a new place. And with new beginnings come fear, uncertainty and doubt. New beginnings bring disappointment or they can bring excitement. Much of this depends on our perspective. How will I handle each new day? How will I get through each moment of every day that brings new obstacles, new challenges…or new opportunities? I realized earlier this year when speaking to a mentor that we need to begin to look at a glass overflowing with opportunities, not “half full,” or “half empty.”
I realize now that we must make the most of every opportunity, and as we are diligent with what has been placed before us, the Lord will continue to lay out more and more along the path. In fact, I know we all want to be successful in this life. Some are more driven than others, and some may need to find that inner strength from within to pick up and go again. So what is success look like? How is it achieved? And does it really matter what the world thinks? I love how Mark Batterson defines success, “Success is doing the best you can with what you have where you are” (Batterson, In a pit with a lion on a snowy day). I can relate to that. In fact, I take great encouragement from those words because I believe that you can’t always change the cards you have been dealt, but you can change the outcome of the play, you can change how you will respond to the circumstances! Successful people can spot an opportunity a mile away! What opportunities lie in your path? How will you begin the process of reaching that dream?
So…what dream is God calling you to pursue? ”A dream becomes a reality one opportunity at a time. And if you work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on God, there is no telling what God can do in you and through you” (Batterson, In a pit with a lion on a snowy day). It is in our nature to want what we want now. But dreams take time to develop. And I must remind myself that I cannot just have things handed to me on a silver platter, with silver packaging and a bow tied all around! Sure, for some it seems that easy, like life was just handed to them on a silver platter. But, man what would it be like to achieve my dream with blood, sweat and tears, recognizing that the Lord has laid out all the tools we need right before our very eyes, and then to finally look back, not boasting “look what I did” but, “look what God did in all of this! We have to go after our dreams, making every effort daily to work towards accomplishing them with all we have! He is so faithful…will we stay faithful?
Life is difficult and many times we go through life trying to figure out how to survive. Mark Batterson tells us in his book that, “There are only two ways to live your life: survival mode or prayer.” Most of the time it is in our human nature to worry, to doubt ourselves in the decisions we have made or either are about to make.
Batterson goes on to write, “Survival mode is simply reacting to the circumstances around you. It is a pinball existence. And to be perfectly honest, it’s predictable, monotonous, and boring. Prayer mode is the exact opposite. Your spiritual antenna is up and your radar is on. Your reticular activating system (part of the brain that detects what gets noticed and what doens’t) is on red alert” (Batterson, In a pit with a lion on a snowy day). What opportunities are coming our way that we perhaps won’t miss if we are spending more time on our knees rather than just trying to get through each day?