Friday, September 30, 2011


There's an excuse--a pretty common one--that many of us use to not intentionally pursue using the gifts and talents God has given us.

At the Quitter Conference, Ben Arment told a story of a conversation he had with a woman about her longing to use her talents as a nurse. She was 35 and the nursing program would take her about 5 years to complete with her current schedule. "I just don't know about starting up this whole program when I know I will be FORTY by the time those 5 years pass," she reasoned.

And Ben responded, "You'll be forty when those 5 years pass regardless. You might as well be a nurse at the end of them."

And it's true. Here's a woman who believes God has woven into her specific gifts and talents to minister to people through nursing. But her fear of how long things might take to be able to serve in that capacity was lulling her into inaction.

I can be right there, too. Can you? If I can't be at the end of the process fairly quickly, I'm not sure I want to start it. Even if it means doing what God made me to do.

I'll be 35 in a few weeks. That story really resonates with me because even now I am tempted to shove my talents in the ground and walk away (an act that in Scripture was referred to as wicked and lazy--ouch!), all because I know that it may take years to really gain any sort of momentum in doing what I really, really feel called to do. I can see how my fear of how long things might take to be able to serve in this capacity is tempting to lull me into inaction.

Yes, I'll soon be hitting that lovely halfway mark between 30 and 40. And it's hard not to think that by the time I gain any sort of momentum in my ministry, it'll be too late. But something tells me that when we throw out phrases like "Too late," God is up there chuckling about our misunderstanding of time. I wanted to be serving in this capacity a decade ago. And five years ago, I started chomping at the bit. But what if I wasn't ready five years ago? I must not have been. And what if it isn't until I'm 40, or 40+ that God will use me in this capacity? Does that mean I shouldn't even bother walking in that direction now?

Will we be paralyzed from pursuing the calling God has on us, simply because it might take some time? Or will we be obedient to take the daily steps of our calling, no matter how long it may take to see fruit?

Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the LORD a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
2 Peter 3:8

Be very careful how you live--not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the LORD is."
Ephesians 5:15-16

Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9

Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will be pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.
Ernest Nightingale

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