I was a senior in college. Just one more student in the school of business at the University of North Texas (North Texas State in those days). This was a large university with large classes. I had just gone through a year in which I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in college. My grades really suffered during that time. Of course, I asked no one for advice or direction about any of this. I tried to figure it out on my own and that sure didn’t work. Then one day something occurred to me that I have never forgotten.
The world is not going to wait on me. People will go on with their lives regardless of what I do.
Now that was big for me. Why? Because it was a reminder that the world did not revolve around me. The lives of my friends, family, etc. did not revolve around me. Everybody else would go on with their lives regardless of what I did with my life.
I have a friend who is a minister for a very large church in Dallas. He told me once:
If I am crossing Preston Road this Sunday and then get run over by a beer truck, the church will have a search committee in place by that evening.
Probably an exaggeration. His point was, this church would move on rather quickly. My friend stressed that he did not need to see himself as irreplaceable. He needed to keep in mind that his life was more than this church.
Remembering this has been important to me even right now. Sometimes I get discouraged. I suspect some of you wrestle with this as well. My own discouragement does not come as the result of problems, struggles, etc. Typically, when I feel myself becoming discouraged, it is the result of some kind of ongoing frustration that has been building. Or, it may be the result of a series of disappointments. And–to be honest–it is sometimes the result of envy of others or even self-pity.
I can tell you this: The world is not going to wait on me. People will go on with their lives. Whether I live another twenty five years or die today, everyone else will go on. So what I need to focus on is not my frustration with other people. Nor do I need to dwell on circumstances which are beyond my control to change.
Instead, I need to keep very centered on my relationship with God. For me, that means staying focused on the basics.
- I am a Christ-follower. That means that I live each day with the intention of learning from him how to do life.
- In me is the "forever presence" of God. (The Holy Spirit). God lives in me providing his strength and the power to do whatever he wants me to do. He produces in my life God-like qualities that are visible each day in my relationships with people.
- I need other people. This is not just about "God and me" but "God and us." I was not meant to live as a Christian by myself, doing life on my own.
I get discouraged far less frequently than I used to. Yes, there continue to be some real frustrations in my life. I suspect that is true of you as well. However, I am trying to stay focused on a few basics and then go on with life.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:3)