Late last year I had the opportunity to travel to Colorado to spend some time with some of my favorite writers in the world. I arrived in Colorado Springs after dark and drove to my literary agent’s house where I stayed the night. When I walked back outside in the morning to get in my accidentally sweet rental vehicle (a story for another day), I was thunderstruck by the mountains! It had been so dark the night before I hadn’t seen them. Under the stars they were invisible, yet in the daylight they were huge and overwhelming.
Moments ago, I made a list of 3 things I want to accomplish by Christmas. Truth be told, all 3 of them will require a wild amount of determination. Eyes on the prize, dare to dream, you get the idea. Sounds good, right? Except I can be my own worst hurdle and my most ardent critic. By the end of today I expect to feel completely defeated that I didn’t make a dent in my Dhaulagiri. (That would be Earth’s 7th highest mountain, by the way, nothing weird.) I suspect in the daylight of the next few months, my goals will loom large and overwhelming like those Colorado mountains.
So here are 4 words that push me forward : Just move the needle.
As it pertains to the dashboard of my expectations, I prefer to move instantly from 0 to 90 M.P.H. I’m not good with cruise control or slowing for detours or traffic. I want to meet today’s goals yesterday. I want to arrive at the station before I ever set off in the train. And yet the destination is only half the point. Growth happens in the struggle.
I must learn to be satisfied–joyful even–in the process of learning and growing.
No insta-sucess, no insta-arrival, no insta-fix. Anything beginning with “insta” doesn’t change me.
Are you working to pay off life-numbing debt? Are you hoping to mend a broken relationship? Are you overwhelmed at the prospect of the new school year or a different job? Are you frustrated by the presence of a flaw in yourself or your family?
Join me: Just move the needle. Do the next small thing that puts you closer to reaching your goal.
Instead of pitying the process or bemoaning the pace, I trust God to help me take the small steps toward accomplishing my 3 goals for Christmas. Each time I’m tempted to be discouraged, I will remind myself–
It is God who works in [me], both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
Back to work–