Start: 1. The point in time or space at which something has its origin. 2. The inception or onset of something new. 3. To begin, commence or initiate something.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to win the prize…Therefore I do not run uncertainly, like someone running without a definite aim. I run like someone that has a goal. I run with purpose in my step.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-26)
I have become one of those people. Yep, the ones that get up early in the morning and pound the pavements in the dark before heading off to work. I love running. But as much as I love running, I have to admit that I’m not that good! I don’t have a single fast twitch muscle fiber in my whole body therefore I’m a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of runner, NOT a sprinter! I start off at one pace (slow) and I just keep on going. Which is actually quite funny given that the only thing in my life that I do slowly is run! I think God has a sense of humor!
Because I’m more of a slower, long distance type of runner, the only time I’ve ever used a starting block was at school when I had to line up for the compulsory 100m or 200m sprint in which I always came last! However, even though I won’t ever line up in the starting blocks of an Olympic sprint event, when I take that first step out my front door, or that first step in a fun run, I run with purpose. When I am training for a fun run I have an aim and a goal. My goal is definitely not to run fast enough to qualify to run the New York Marathon, but it is my goal to run 10ks in under an hour whenever I run 10ks. My goal is not to beat anyone and win a prize for my age group, but it is my goal to complete a half-marathon one day (I’m not counting the one I’ve already done because I didn’t run the whole way).
This week marks the start of Melissa Taylor’s Online Study of Ps Steven Furtick’s book Greater. And I have to say, just one chapter into it and I’m hooked! I love it when I read a book and when reviewing each chapter I see more words highlighted than not! This book has been like that so far.
What stood out the most for me was this:
God wants me to dream big and have big goals. His vision and plan for my life is greater than what I currently imagine. He has planned things even bigger and better and greater than I have already seen and achieved! Yes, the things God has purposed for my life are considerably above the normal or the average!
BUT I’m stuck in the starting blocks.
I’ve become complacent, living at a level of mediocrity where I have allowed some big dreams to fade. Rather than believing God’s best for my life, I’m still believing the labels I have placed on myself (too old, too fat, too loud, too opinionated, too blunt). Rather than dreaming big, I’ve allowed opportunities to slip past me.
But as Pastor Steven says: “Baseline living is not okay.”
And baseline living is where I’ve been at for a long time now. After living for three years in a ‘desert-like’ situation, running wasn’t even on my agenda, let alone lining up at the starting blocks ready to sprint off, racing towards the big dreams and visions I used to have for my life! It was enough that I was even standing again, let alone running. After three long years of discouragement and disappointment, it is no wonder my dreams have shriveled and died.
Deep down I know I am meant for more than I am currently living. Yet I have ended up confused and frustrated and settling for less – settling for a life of mediocrity. After I recently turned back to God I still believed that my lack of faith had disqualified me from even lining up at the starting blocks. And now I don’t know how to move forward. I’ve forgotten how to dream big. I’ve forgotten even how to believe for greater things.
Rather than believing for greater, I’ve been listening to that little voice in my head that tells me “you’ll never be good enough and God could never use someone like you with your weaknesses, hang-ups, secret struggles and dysfunctions.”
What a lie!
Thankfully God didn’t disqualify me and now He is calling me to run. To run with purpose in my step. To run with an aim and a goal. God’s call for my life is for me to live a ‘greater’ life. This call to be ‘greater’ is the call to walk with God Himself. Thankfully, this call and vision for my life is built on a promise: God created me for more.
As Ps Steven says: “Nobody does greater things for God because they’ve got it all together. And nobody is disqualified because they don’t.”
Although I’m not yet sure what that vision and call and promise for my life is, I know that now is the time for me to get out of the starting blocks and run. Now is the time for me to say goodbye to mediocrity and hello to all that God has planned for my life. It’s time to begin! NOW is the point in time, the origin, the onset of something new. Of something big. Of something GREATER.