I recently watched a video (https://youtu.be/00rPgc0tISM) with actor, Idris Elba, describing his work ethic and how he works really hard, sleeps less, stays focused, doesn’t compare his progress with others and how looking towards the end can often become a hindrance to your progress. I found it interesting he emphasized how looking at how much further you have to go can be a bit discouraging. His perspective was very eye opening because we often focus on how looking behind us or in the past can delay us. After meditating on what he said, I thought about myself and the many times I’ve looked so far ahead that I missed what was right in front of me. Whether it was with a career, relationship, or school, I found myself having to always pause and embrace where I was rather than always rushing to make it to the finish line. I realized that sometimes I would miss opportunities or signs simply because I was not embracing the now.
It’s very easy to become anxious when God has shown you something regarding your future, but I’m reminded of the timing factor. For every promise, there is a specific time when it needs to come into fruition. Too soon may result in you being ill prepared for the blessing which normally means we won’t appreciate its value or steward it well. When considering timing, I always go to Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 has a way of putting things back into perspective for me. When I want things to happen faster than what God intended, I realize that he knows exactly when his promises will manifest. Yes, it is easy to get caught in the comparison game by looking at other people’s progress, but I’ve had to consider my own progress and say, “Am I REALLY ready for this?” For instance, when considering marriage. I would love to be married, but then I look at my goal of finishing my doctoral degree and I am quickly reminded that if I was married, I would most likely not be focused on my degree. It’s not to say it’s not possible, but I have to consider how I was created. Yes, the desire is there, but I would never want to verbally commit to anything or anyone I couldn’t wholly commit to.
In Eccleciastes 3:11a, it is written that [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. Seeing this really solidifies that God is always moving on my behalf and when I make it to the end, it will be exactly when God needed it to happen. I don’t need to look back or too far up because embracing the now allows me to enjoy the journey set before me. Although you may have many things you would like to accomplish, take some time out to reflect on what’s actually happening in this season. What lessons are you learning, what skills are being gained, what relationships are you fostered properly, and what assignments has God given you now that need to be completed? Remember every situation is one step closer to reaching a goal God has given us, we just have to be aware of the now and understand that if we stay focused we will make it to the end.