This past week we showed the movie Facing the Giants in one of our events, and there is one particular scene that is moving to me. The football coach is in a moment of desperation when a pastor walks into his office to deliver him an inspiring message that changes the course of his life and the lives of many other people.
He talked about how there were two farmers who were desperately praying for rain, but only one went out to prepare his fields for the rain. The pastor then asked the coach two questions: Which farmer actually believed God? Which one are you?
That message couldn’t have come at a more important time in my life. I have one more year in my contract here in Ecuador and then who really knows where God will take me next? When I think back over all the things that God has showed me that He has called me to do, I have to ask the question: Am I ready to step into that? Have I done my part to be ready for that?
I pray that God would touch people with my writing, but have I truly taken the time and effort to develop my skills? Am I running forward in faith? I pray that God would allow me someday to run a family orphanage and to work with victims of human trafficking, but have I prepared in any way for that? I pray that someday I might be a wife and mom, but have I taken the time to develop the skills that I need to do that job well? Am I actively becoming the woman of integrity and character that I know God created me to be? I would have to answer no on most of these counts…at least to the degree that would make my field ready to receive the blessing. I have not been living to the maximum.
God told Abraham in Genesis 12:3 that all the families on earth would be blessed through him. What is the prayer that I would pray to God? Lord, make me a blessing. Use me to be an agent of transformation in the world. Am I living an extraordinary life now?
We all have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. How am I using them? How am I spending my time? Have I made an effort to cut out everything that is not edifying or helping me to advance God’s Kingdom? For example, in the past, I spent a lot of time on Facebook. Recently, I realized that every five minutes that I wasted looking at pictures of cats and hamburgers is five minutes that I could have spent writing a letter to bless someone else or to read to grow my knowledge. Even in my hobbies, am I using them for useful things? I love to draw. There are so many things that I can do with that to bring joy to someone else’s life and not just for my own personal enjoyment.
Do I have clear goals for my life? It is sometimes hard to plan too much in the future, but here are some things that have helped me:
- Write it out: What kind of woman do I want to be and what kind of woman do I want people to know me as? (If you’re a man, insert man into phrase) For example, I want to be a confident and self-motivated woman, known not only for her kindness, but also for her wisdom and strong prayer life. I want to be dependable, responsible, and full of integrity. I want to be passionate and inspiring.
- Set specific short-term goals. What are my interests? For example, this year I want to learn how to play the drums and the guitar. I am also working on writing a book. I also have goals for my devotional time. Those are specific goals that I can meet. Are the goals that I have pushing me in a positive way?
- Set general long-term goals. What deep-rooted and beautiful desires are in your heart? I have the tendency to believe that they are not there by accident. For example, I know that I have a deep desire for orphan care and to work with human trafficking victims. I have no idea the path that God will use to get me there, but I can spend time reading on these subjects. I can do research on training programs and organizations to have in a portfolio so someday if God would open the door, I would have options on what to do.
- Always network. Sometimes networking gets a bad rap because it can come off as “only making friends to get something out of the relationship”. However, this is very wrong. First, you never know who you will call on someday. So make friends with all kinds of people and keep up the relationships. Who knows? Maybe you will be the one to help them someday. Often, the most enriching part is the actual relationship you have with them. Second, it is important to surround yourself with people who will encourage you to make a difference. We must surround ourselves with wise people who have made a difference with their lives. Then we will be encouraged to make a difference with ours as well. Plus, we all need advice sometimes. Everyone has a different set of knowledge and we all love sharing the knowledge that we have. Why not embrace this? It is important as well to work on BEING the kind of person that people would come to for advice. This is a choice that we make to constantly be growing and learning and living in integrity.
What about you? What have you been doing to prepare your field? Take some time today to evaluate. Determine to be a good steward with the time and the life that God gave you.