Traveling the Roads
Do you ever look backward and then make excuses on why you are stumbling forward? Sometimes even with a loose goal set on the horizon, we tend to either get so focused on the future that we can’t see right in front of us or become discouraged and begin to look at where we came from. In both of these scenarios, we often create excuses on why we aren’t reaching our destination with successful journeying.
I live with a Great Dane named Ezekiel. My rather large companion loves the word, “go”. I can simply say the words, “Let’s go” and he will quickly wait by the door anticipating where our adventure might lead us. His elation builds when he realizes we are riding in the car, for nothing is more exciting in his world than a ride down the road. He hops into the back seat with great enthusiasm and settles into his place. He positions himself so he can see out both the side and front windows simultaneously as he eagerly awaits what the destination of the trip may hold. I have noticed that Ezekiel’s high spirits seem to stem from the fact that he doesn’t focus on the end destination but the joy of the journey of just getting there. However, if the journey becomes long and arduous, aka; Interstate travel, I will often see him with his head resting on the back of the seat looking through the back glass as if longing for the past.
It’s not Where We’ve Been but Where We are Going that Counts
Looking to the past seems to be the way a lot of us appear to travel life, especially when the road ahead becomes long and not easy to navigate. We look to the past and then create a multitude of excuses on why we can’t seem to muster the spirit to reach our goal or end destination. This type of noncommittal travel results in being stuck going really neither forward nor backward but most of all missing the joy of the journey along the way. And this can also parallel our journey with Christ. We can put the excuses to the side and journey forward with full commitment embracing the joy along with way or not. But it is difficult to move forward without stumbling if we are looking backward and this is where our excuses develop.
Sometimes our journey with Christ isn’t easy and it requires us to follow His ideas fully instead of selectively. He wants total dedication and commitment from His followers and not half-baked excuses. It has been pointed out that the crown comes by the way of the cross. Jesus’ ministry gives us the full example of the expectation of commitment as He demonstrates His commitment to us by moving forward in His journey to Jerusalem. Our excuses to explain our actions and or why we aren’t willing to abandon our security to follow Him is our hold to the past. It distracts us from moving toward our purpose and goal, in addition to allowing us to experience the joy of the present journey.
Stop the Excuses and Just Commit
If we are waiting for just the right moment or time to fully commit our life to Christ it will never arrive, and we will always be stumbling along. For if we are waiting until we get our life together or put our life in order then there will always be other priorities or excuses than to follow Christ. The journey He offers us may not always look exciting and like the Interstate to Ezekiel, is sometimes just long and arduous. But taking the challenge to follow Him promises that the end destination is worth the travel. It is time to lay our excuses to the side and make the full commitment to follow Him today enjoying every mile of the journey and keeping our eyes forward to a future filled with His presence.
But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”Luke 9:62 (NLT)
There are No Excuses Worth Defending
Approximately 10 years ago, my husband and I were traveling and listening to NPR on the radio, whereas Dr. Wayne W. Dyer was speaking about his new book, Excuses Begone! It was very motivating and although I don’t remember all the particulars, I must have fully embraced the talk enough for my husband to give me the new book for my birthday that year. I must admit I have rather a weakness for making excuses on why I can’t seem to move past this or that. You will also find it probably most humorous to know that I have never read the book. I am sure life got in the way and quickly filled with other things, at least that is my excuse.
As I was thinking about the many excuses we use in the whys and why “nots” of our life, I remembered that book and found it on the bookshelf. It is so very crisp and new. The cover in perfect condition and the pages smell just as if it was pulled from the bookstore shelf today. I apparently never got out of the first chapter which is where I found my marker. Dr. Dyer explains in his prelude that if we will ascribe to his practices, we will ultimately realize that there are no excuses worth defending, ever, even if they have always been part of our life. And once we get rid of our excuses it frees us to move forward with life.
Following A Compendium for Life
Dr. Dyer’s pattern for a compendium for life is also what a commitment of following Christ is like. There are no excuses that we can pose or use to defend for not following Him. For as we commit to follow Christ there is also a paradigm shift where the end results are beyond our wildest imagination. It is here that we can both enjoy the journey and the end destination at the same time. As we commit fully to Christ, like the steps in Dr. Dyer’s book, we become more aware of our life purpose and our life aligns within itself. We see the importance of the now as we also move towards the end goal. The daily contemplation that we experience becomes not only our motivation and willingness to move forward but to do so with both compassion and passions that become part of us in the journey.
When we dedicate our lives to Christ, we hold the ability to live unselfishly because He frees us from our past and makes the impossible possible. But we must seek this journey of commitment with Him not to have our own way or to place a burden upon others who must travel their own journey. But as we journey, we must spend more time looking forward and not backward for the past cannot dictate our or anyone else’s future.
Moving on Without the Excuses
We should take the past and instead of dwelling there, use it to grow our knowledge of God as we concentrate our current relationship with Him. It is time to lay the excuses down and realize that we can move on to a life of faith and obedience which is a fuller and more meaningful life in the present journey. By laying down the excuses of “has-beens” and doubts we realize that our faith dictates our future in Christ. This shifts our focus from us to God and allows us to see that He is the only future and there is no looking back in that.
Won’t you challenge yourself to stop the excuses and focus forward remembering that those who look back while moving forward stumble? Find your convictions trusting fully in Christ knowing that He expects our full dedication if we commit to follow Him. Allow your motivation to reside in knowing that Christ erases the past and that freeing power allows you to be all that He has in mind for your life. This new focus takes your full energy and is your ultimate goal without distractions or excuses. Surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that you can look forward to a fuller, richer, and more meaningful life when you decide to dedicate your life to follow Him.
May your celebrations for the first week of July be safe. It looks like I have a “new” old book to read and I’m out of excuses!
Love in Christ,
Don’t give in to excuses that can keep you from really living the best life God has for you.Joyce Meyer
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you find yourself making excuses for why you live the life you do? Are you attempting to move forward while looking out the back window? Share your thoughts on the excuses you make and how life is or would be easier if you would simply lay them down and commit to Christ.