I've been struggling quite a bit with working on my goals for next year, and it has been super frustrating. Growing up, my mom would make us write 1 year, 5 year and 10 year plans and out of all my siblings, I probably had the most fun doing it, and definitely kept it up religiously.
But here I was struggling with defining some of my goals for what I feel is a pretty major year where I should be all set with a plan. And as I've been thinking about why that could be, I realized I really have one or two of my next steps...just not the whole picture.
And I think sometimes, at least from my experience, God doesn't show me the whole picture, or even the end goal on purpose, coz in true Analyst fashion, I'd probably try to rationalize it and start to downgrade it coz I just would not see how I could possibly do it.
This reminds me of the story in the bible of the angel telling Elizabeth and Zacharias, in Luke 1, that they would have a child and Zacharias said it couldn't be possible coz he was too old. And to stop him from ruining his own blessing, the angel shut his mouth and he was not able to say a word until the child was born. Yikes.
But as fuzzy as the whole picture can seem, its amazing that when I'm laser-focused on God, the plan for that day is crystal clear. I'm literally getting gems on gems of what to do and how to do it. But the moment I get distracted, I start seeing all the reasons why I couldn't possibly succeed or why I'm not cut out for it.
This reminds me of the story in the bible of when Jesus was walking on water and Peter asked to join him. And there he was doing something no one could ever have imagined, walking on water alongside Jesus, but the moment he shifted his focus from Jesus, he noticed the waves around him and started to sink.
"So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and rescued him. “O man of little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” And when they had climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped.
I was watching an interview with Brooke Ligertwood (Hillsong), and I've mentioned this before on my Instagram, where Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. asked her what advise she would give young folks, and she said "Don't follow dreams; follow Jesus".
It almost sounds wrong if you have a similar mindset I've had for most of my life but after listening to her say this, it put into words what I had experienced for so long. And it started to make sense why I was getting so frustrated.
Could it be that my issue was simply a matter of focus? That I just needed to learn that I'm not always going to get the details from start to finish, but I needed to simply take the step ahead of me in faith, and the next...and stay focused, not on the fuzzy goal, not even on the step, but on God?
Because when I'm focused on the goal, well, its not even clear enough so I definitely start wandering, and when I'm focused on the step, I realize I'm missing a couple ahead. But when I'm focused on God, He leads me by the hand, and I don't even worry about the waves coz guess what, I don't see them.
Before Peter sank, there were waves on the water. He just couldn't see them and because he didn't see them, they didn't affect him.