The Advantage of the Long Road

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Don’t be discouraged.  Problems can drag on and on in our lives, and I know, it’s a challenge to keep your head up.  How often do we sit through just an excruciatingly long speech, or movie and even though it may be good, it’s a natural inclination to say, “hey, how much longer is this speech going to be anyway?”  And whether this question is asked out of frustration or just pure curiosity, we feel justified in asking. We as humans live in the realm of time and we get mighty concerned about our time here, as we should.  As circumstances begin to play out in a comedy of errors, mishaps, and (sigh) waiting for the wind to blow the sails, the temptation to look at how long a situation is taking becomes overwhelming.

Our lives, the scripture tells us, are like a vapor, that appear for a time and then vanish. With our time here on this earth, we want to know that our life has purpose and value.  We all want to create and live out dreams.  We all want to build and create our own legacies.

The road to success can seem long, but I want to encourage you, that it can be the best road.

You gain stability and experience to help others.

I used to get disappointed when people didn’t approve or acknowledge my efforts.  And honestly, sometimes I’ve been done badly (talents and influence used and then ignored) but I always gained knowledge for future success. People may rob you of time, but no one can steal your growth, learning or improvement.  That gain is yours to keep.  Experience gained brings more certainty and stability but only if you learn from your experience.  You’ll understand what works and what will most likely fail.  You’ve experienced the highs, lows and the triumphant outcome or the miserable failures of the past.  Yet, when you live through the practical applications of life, you are qualified to teach others and this world needs qualified teachers of life.

How many people have been stuck in seemingly dead-end jobs or situations and have been so angry about their circumstances that they quit? It took me a while, but I learned that if you’re going to move on, do so strategically.  I learned to be careful about  burning bridges behind me. You can carefully, step outside of  the box to accomplish your goals.  Even if you feel you’ve wasted your time and things are dragging on, know that you are privileged to be on the long road to succeed.  Don’t move on to the next big thing in a huff. Check your attitude at the door.  Thank them for the teaching moment and after much prayer and preparation, grab the next vine. Wave at them as you swing by and tell them “thank you” because without the valleys there would be no mountains.   You see, the short cuts and quick fixes only stall success and create a shaky foundation.   Longevity and yes, hardships breed walls of strength.

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So what should I do if my goals and plans are hindered, or re-routed?  What if I thought something would be an opportunity to fly and it turns out to be no better than my last situation?  Or it looks like the situation may resolve itself, only to find out that the oasis was just a mirage.   How should I feel should when the road to usefulness is blocked. Well, you definitely will feel trapped.  You will feel frustrated. This is normal even for a praying Christian.   If you are like I used to be,  you may be waiting on other people to acknowledge your value, but this would be a mistake.  Never wait for other people to approve of you to move forward if you are certain of the right direction.  I have seen people stall and wait until everybody is happy, and they soon realize that no one will be happy and they’ve wasted valuable time.

MOVE ON IN FAITH!

A younger friend of mine broke up a long dating relationship.  She realized the relationship was not good for her life.  She loved the guy dearly. They dated for several years, talked about marriage and family,  but he had other issues that stressed her out. They talked  and talked and broke up and got back together and went round and round the same issue.  The problem had not changed after a couple of years.  She broke down in tears at the loss of the relationship, but in her head, she knew it was the right thing to do.  Even her boyfriend agreed it was probably not working out. As she was expressing herself, she realized  that the tears were more about mourning the loss of the relationship than a desire to get back in there.  She’d been down that road before.  She was mature enough not to just go with emotion but facts.  He was not changing, so she was moving on.

This is true for so many situations.  I can love a job or a church or a person,  but if it is not fitting with God’s goals and plans for my life, and I see this thing is taking me down a road with no future,  I have to be mature enough to stop trying to make the square peg fit in a round hole.  Granted, it’s not an easy thing if you’ve invested a lot of time.  Yet, think of the time you’ve also lost being stagnant, and the growth you could gain by cutting the cords or stepping outside of the box.  If the relationship  is doing more hurt than good.  It’s time to move on.  You only learn these things when you take the long road.

Please feel free to share your stories of moving up and on, whether it was a job, church or a relationship.download (22)

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