“How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you?” Joshua 18:3
“What are you waiting for?” That was basically the question Joshua was asking. They knew what they had to do but were motionless, even when they had a promised a better place, a bountiful land. Stillness was their answer.
Oftentimes we know exactly what we need to do and just do nothing. There are many reasons for that, but the main one is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of not having the skills, fear of fear itself. But when we are all by ourselves, we know what we need to do. We know that action is the only option, but we choose to stay put, we choose to do nothing. Probably it is because we are comfortable where we are in life right now and making a change is inconvenient. Or maybe fear has become our master. Can you imagine that? Being controlled by a thought that extrapolates and creates mental circumstances and events that in the majority of time never happen? Fear constricts perception, thinking, and motor processes, but faith and love promote action. That is why repeatedly we find God reassuring us and telling us not to fear. “Do not fear, for I am with you” and “perfect love drives out fear”.
You might have been drawn into a situation that most likely you did not create. Or be in a position today you drifted into because of your inaction. Regardless of what or why you are where you are today, you need to move. The best way to break a series of bad decisions is, you guessed it, make one good decision. It sounds simplistic and obvious but when you are immersed in a streak of constant inaction, thinking of making a change, even when it’s a small one, seems an unsurmountable task. One act, ons step, that is what it takes.
Here are some suggestions of how to start making changes that I found helpful:
- Rest: Yes, it sounds like an oxymoron, but when you are well rested your body and your mind are renewed, you think better you’re more productive, alert and more prone to move on.
- Eat well: Take control of your diet and make small changes everyday. Drink water before eating, it will make you feel more full and therefore consume less. Ask for help to make a balanced diet and don’t be hard on yourself.
- Exercise: Even a small walk around your neighborhood will make you feel better and alert.
- Analyze who are your influencers: “The people that you listen to, are the preview of the future you.” Jeff Henderson. When we consider the lives of those we regard and seek their advise, we should notice the result of their lives in the area we are seeking advise on. Are they modeling well? If I am asking financial advise, are they an example to follow? In relationships? In work? If not, change your sphere.
- Change what you are reading: If you only read news and are plugged to every media outlet, you will be informed but you will grow very little. Bad news always sells but never builds. Some suggestions: The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success, The Final Summit: A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity, The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective, The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You all by Andy Andrews.
- Ask for help: If you cannot make changes on your own, seek advise of others. Look for people that have different ideas than yours and pick their minds. Sometimes one word or one phrase is all that you need to start moving.
Storms in life and menacing waters may be ahead of you, that’s life. But you are not a quitter, you are courageous and you embrace the future with hope. Every obstacle is just a building block for your character. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor”, if you never quit and you take that first step, you will be on you way to your promised land. Steven Curtis Chapman described this beautifully in his song “Take Another Step”. There’s a paragraph that says:
If there’s an ocean in front of you
You know what you’ve gotta do
Take another step and another step
Maybe He’ll turn the water into land
And maybe He’ll take your hand and say
Let’s take a walk on the waves
Will you trust Me either way
And take another step
Take another step
So you know what needs to be done. What are you waiting for? Take another step.
“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”
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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2014
Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.