Shelves, Selves, and a 2020 Vision

I have a wall-to-wall bookshelf in my study, or more accurately, pieces of one.

For six months I’ve waited, stalled, and “meant to get to” finishing that shelf, and last week I finally started the finishing process…and stopped again.

Maybe I keep stopping because life is just so busy sometimes, but maybe it’s because of something else. Maybe my issue is that it’s so much easier for me to live in the future dream of having the shelf than it is to do the work of actually building the shelf.

How about you? Is there something in your life like that, a project, a dream or an idea that you’ve taken steps to pursue but haven’t followed through with?

If there is, then maybe you need to hear this like I did: “You can’t get to the future without going through today.”

That’s what my wife told me when I complained about feeling stuck, and she’s absolutely right. The truth is that my dreams will never happen without me taking steps towards them today, and neither will yours.

You know what that also means, though? It means even if we only take one tiny, timid step today, that’s a win that we can and should feel good about, and I don’t know about you, but that sounds like good news to me!

So, let’s make a change.

Let’s take a step.

Let’s make this year a year of finishing, of completing, of being done with old things not just so we can put them behind us, but so we can welcome the new things ahead of us with clear minds and open arms and keep moving forward to become the best version of who we were made to be.

You can do it.

I can do it.

Let’s do it together.

–PG
Helping people like you take their next step forward so we can build a better world together.

–––––––

p.s. I’m calling 2020 the Year of Vision (I know, original, right?) because if you want to know how you’re doing, you have to know where you’re going. If you have a clear vision of where you’re headed and how to get there, congratulations, you’re one of the fortunate few!

On the other hand, if you’re like most of us and could use a little help achieving clarity, I’d love to help you get there. Drop me a line, and I’ll tell you about some ways I can help you and/or your team or company think, see, and communicate clearly so you can take your next step forward in 2020.

Running Again

Running Again

(Or, “How the Worst Itch Ever Reminded me of the Best Fix of All”)

The itch was so bad I could barely stand it.

There I was, surrounded by the beauty of a fresh sunrise, sidewalk-jogging past a serene waterway and a meticulously trimmed golf course, and all I could think of was the fire under my skin.

It was my first time running in a while, and based on past experience, I knew exactly what this was: my blood vessels overheating because they simply weren’t used to that kind of throughput. The sensory result? Itch, itch, itch, itch, itch.

What made it worse was the fact that I knew a surefire solution that could stop the discomfort. I knew there was one simple action I could take that would completely stop the agony and return me to sanity: quit.

If I just stopped running, gave up on the whole thing and returned to a leisurely pace, the itching in my legs would go away.

Have you ever been there? Maybe not with jogging or physical activity, but have you ever been in a spot where you were in so much discomfort, so much pain even, that it seemed like quitting was your only option to make it go away?

The whole thing reminds me of a passage from a letter written by the Apostle Paul to a group of Christians in the city of Galatia. He knew that following Jesus in their day –as in ours– definitely brought with it an element of discomfort. Yet, this seasoned saint also knew that when it comes to our walk with Christ, the prize is always worth the pain. Look at what he reminded them…

“So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.  (Galatians 6:9)

There it is, a simple reminder with staggeringly powerful implications: don’t give up.

When the discomfort threatens to derail you, don’t give up.

When the struggle feels like it will sink you, don’t give up.

When the pain eclipses your perspective, forget about what you feel, and simply remember to DO this: Don’t. Give. Up.

It may seem like quitting is the only option to deal with the pain, but that would mean ditching the prize. It may feel like stopping is the only way to survive, but failing to finish would mean relinquishing the reward.

You see, in that itch-filled moment on the jogging trail, I knew that quitting might fix the discomfort, but I would have surrendered the satisfaction of a job well done. I also knew that if I kept at it, not only would the itch eventually fade away, but in its place would be the power of better blood flow and the pride of an accomplishment, a much better “fix” indeed.

So, what did I do that day? I kept going until I hit my goal.

Where do YOU need to keep going today?

Maybe you have a relationship that’s seen better days, but don’t give up.

Maybe there’s a workplace conflict you can’t seem to resolve, but don’t give up.

Maybe it’s a habit or sin or addiction that feels impossible to break, but whatever it is: Don’t. Give. Up!

If you’ll keep on pressing forward, I can’t promise your circumstance will improve right away, but I can guarantee you’ll receive a breakthrough in the one place that matters most…

Your heart.

–Pastor Phillip