When you get to a tough place you have to push, but the push is important because it builds a necessary resolve within you. “Pushing” through the hard places solidifies your resolve to fulfill your mission. In this episode of the podcast we discuss one of the greatest lessons we’ve learned on our great adventure… the importance of having to push.
Continue reading for the article/episode notes…
The “Push” Solidifies Your Resolve
(These are our notes for the podcast, for the full discussion you will need to listen to the podcast.)
The great adventure involves a battle on at least two levels. There is the battle within, and, if our great adventure is spiritual, aiming to accomplish things of eternal value (and your great adventure is not worthy of the battle if it is not connected to eternal value) you will encounter spiritual warfare and opposition. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between your own internal battles and the spiritual battles fought in the unseen realm (Ephesians 6).
On our great adventure, you may battle depression, a sense of unworthiness, a sense of smallness, a “who do you think you are” feeling. Some days, you may want to quit. On other days, we are ready for the challenge, we are motivated to the core, and we press up the mountain. Why? It is the battle within and the battle in the spiritual realm.
With every push up the mountain our resolve grows stronger.
With every push, we re-evaluate… is it worth it?
There are no shortcuts to the top of the mountain. There is only a path you must follow. You will have to push, you will have to rest, you will have to depend upon God, you will have to stay FOCUSED or you will not make it.
We don’t set around evaluating and re-evaluating our call to the leaders in Africa. We are focused on this mountain. Every push reminds us of our “why.”
We have to LEARN to push because when we engage the battle more deeply, we will need much resolve to push through even greater challenges.
By the time we get to the summit of this particular mountain (and yes, there are many more mountains beyond) we will be more resolve in our calling.
If you don’t have to PUSH to the top, if you don’t have to depend upon God to give you the strength, then your resolve will quickly melt in the face of adversity.
We have to learn adversity on the journey so we can withstand the greater adversity we will face as we take on even bigger challenges.
You Have to Focus on the Joys of the Adventure
My friend, Ralph Holdeman, has a quote on the door from the ready room to the platform of his church. I’ve seen it for years. On our last visit I asked for a copy of the card. He gave us a couple of them and I have one in my study attached to our map of Africa.
The quote is…
“Regardless of what you hear, feel, or see; stay excited, stay focused, stay positive, you are doing the right thing.”
Wow… there is so much I hate about this part of the journey. I don’t even want to say that I like looking for supporters. But I do love building and working with teams. I do love sitting at a table with a fellow adventurer and sharing dreams and challenges. I love working with the leadership team assembled to make a transformational difference in the way we train and equip leaders in Africa. I do love dreaming of possibilities. I do love sharing my heart and vision and planning to bring it into reality.
We so often want to go on the defensive.
We want to whine about things that are hard or not going right.
We want to blame others for the difficulties of our great adventure, because they are not responding, because they cannot see it, because they are disinterested.
Here are a couple of things I’ve learned about leadership…
… never lose your composure.
Yes, there are times a righteous indignation seems appropriate (and may be), but think about this: Before Jesus drove the money changers from the temple he very calmly sat down and braided a whip to use.
“And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.” (John [2:15] ESV)
It was premeditated. He did not just impulsively start flipping tables over. He simply responded in a premeditated aggressive fashion to get his point across. He was in control, he was measured, he did not lose his composure. He did not apologize after it was all over because it was intentional.
Jesus was passionate, “His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me” (John [2:17] ESV). Passion does not necessitate losing your composure.
… stay positive.
Crisis will temporarily motivate people, but if everything is a crisis, soon, nothing is a crisis.
We are on our great adventure because of the wonderful results we believe for. The hardships are a gateway into the promise.
I’ve preached a lot lately with this outline: The Passion / The Pain / The Promise. When you have a passion, you have to press through the pain before you will realize the promise… every time!
You have to stay excited, stay focused, stay positive… because you are doing the right thing.
The adrenaline rush of RISK must turn into a long-play determination to press through, to push. The adrenaline of the RISK turns into the the discipline of the REALITY.
Starting down the road of the great adventure is exciting, it is fun. Quitting your job, believing for the impossible, casting the vision… that is the fun part. After a few twists and turns in the road you realize you are alone with God and the what-have-I-done moment comes. As you journey, your team starts to form, but it can be a lonely walk.
We have to RE-IGNITE to passion we felt in the beginning.
The pain of the process becomes a memory when we step into the promise. We have to push to the summit.
Next week… The Great Adventure is God’s Work in US.