Are you doing? Or are you trying to get done?
There’s a saying among writers that nearly everyone likes having written but few actually enjoy writing.
Surveys indicate as many as 80% of people claiming they’d like to write a book. I’ll bet that’s really not true. Most of those folks want to have written a book. They like the idea of being a published author. It’s the distinction between doing and having done.
I suspect most endeavors are similar. Lots of folks want to have lost weight. Most of us wouldn’t mind having gotten rich.
Do you really want to start a business, with all the work and risk and grimy details? Or do you simply want the result, the nice, clean feeling of having started a business? Do you really want to serve, or are you willing to endure serving to get to the feeling of having served?
What about your God-sized dream? Do you want to follow it, wherever it leads? Or would you rather have the experience of having followed?
Having done is the glamorous part where you get the rewards, the attention and praise. It’s where everyone pats you on the back and tells you how great you are while you pretend to be overwhelmed by undeserved accolades. Nobody’s immune from being tempted by the glory of having done, but it’s the wrong reason to follow a dream.
Whatever the dream, do you seek the warm-fuzzy glow of having done it? Are you after some version of an attaboy? Will you be secretly disappointed if nobody notices? Is there some spot, deep inside where you don’t want to go, where you imagine God will be just a little bit impressed once you’ve done this thing?
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the good feelings from having done something worthwhile. I absolutely like having done RICH’S RIDE, but that’s not why I did it. Having done it earns me only the opportunity to learn from our efforts, leverage them, and continue.
I think you have to follow the dream. A dream is a story waiting to be written; follow inspires you to write the story. Follow engages and creates a shared journey. I suspect you’ll struggle if you seek the experience of having followed.
God doesn’t call us to be people who’ve done things so we can sit on the front porch in a rocking chair and recount the glory days. He invites us to do big things, to dream big dreams and follow them.
But be prepared, because following God-sized dreams takes you through some stretches that aren’t roses and sunshine.
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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com