So this week I turn 30 so I thought it would be a great time to do a 30 year review on myself and see how things are going. What have I accomplished? What I have done to be proud of? How have I helped further the Kingdom of God? Talk about sobering. Mic meet humility. As I reached out to shake humilities hand, humility quickly slapped me across the face and before I could react out of sheer horror and pain, humility was on top of me wailing on me. Boy did I get my butt whooped by humility….. it was nice to meet you too….jerk.
As I look back on the last 30 years I am let down by how I have lived my life thus far. There are just a few blips here and there where I did something epic in my life. A few blips of where I helped someone physically, emotionally, or spiritually. What’s worse, none of those blips are recent.
I was created for greatness. I was gifted by God many talents, that I have squandered and used for my selfishness. There is not many moments of significance that appear in my life. Now don’t get me wrong, I know I am harder on myself than I should be sometimes, but really I think we should be hard on ourselves. If we aren’t we start just being okay with mediocrity. I have become a creature of dreams, but just that… just dreams. No actions. No follow through. Just dreams.
I expect so much more out of myself. I don’t want to be the guy who wastes his time. Not serving his brothers and sisters and most importantly not spending my time in awe of God and worshiping how great He is.
Maybe some of you completely understand my dilemma. Maybe some of you are not okay with mediocrity. Not okay with our lack of ‘doing something.’ Well, as I reflected on my life this week and did my 30 year review, not only did I see that I need to step up my game, but certain themes and lessons also were revealed to me and I wanted to share with you. In hopes that maybe, you don’t find yourself in my shoes. Learn from my laziness… please.
1) Never Settle
“So what are we going to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” – Romans 8:31
I truly believe that we should never settle. We have become a society that just moves with the current. What if we were to go against the current? To fight for what we believe to be important. Fight to do the best we can. I know for me in my walk with God, I am prone to settling at times. I sit back and say, well I did this or I did that. That is good enough. This is one of my least favorite things I say. It’s good enough. If I said this then it means that I KNOW I could have done better yet I chose not to. If we allow ourselves to be swayed by this thinking in one area of life, we will find that it will start to creep into all areas of our lives. Never settle with anything but your best. Be the best mom you can, dad you can be, friend you can be. Do your best at your job. Do your best in being like Christ. Always do your best.
2) It’s Never Too Late to Dream
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
So… I love to dream. I love to think of what can be. However, so often we find that we limit our dreams to what we think we can do. This way we don’t fail. Trust me… this is exactly where I am in my life right now. I have dreamed so big for my non-profit (Continue the Story) that I feel that I am actually not doing anything at all. I plan to build stronger families impacted by incarceration. It’s not a matter of I hope to… It’s a matter of I WILL. But I know what it means to feel like a failure!
I think we are afraid to dream too big because we are limited by our fears. We dream small and cheap. This way we can afford to do what we dream and we know we can handle it. I am glad we are dreaming, but just think of what could happen if you dreamed BIGGER! Let God take care of the timing, and the finances, and the logistics. Spend your time dreaming as big as you can.
Here’s how I see it. If I dream a small dream and then make it happen 100% – hey that is awesome. Maybe that 100% of that small dream positively impacts a few hundred people. On the flip side, what if I were to dream so big that I only ever attain 30% of the dream. However, because the dream was so big the reach of that 30% positively impacted thousands. It also could jumpstart someone to then take where you left off and see that dream to 100% in which millions are impacted. Dreaming big can do that. I know it. Let me give you an example of someone who knew it was never too late to dream.
Chuck Colson was known as the ‘Hatchet Man” for the Nixon Administration. He planned to create a legacy for himself. However, in the midst of the Watergate Scandal he had some areas where he messed up. He pled guilty and served 7 months in Federal Prison.
He was 42 years old when he became a Christian. God took his mess ups and empowered him and gave him incredible dreams for those in prison. He went on to create Prison Fellowship. One of the biggest Prison Ministries in the world, helping millions and millions of people. Chuck spent half his life trying to create a legacy, but what he didn’t realize is that it was the last half of his life, that he did just that. All while glorifying God. His faults and failures did not stop him from dreaming. In fact, that is what lit the fire within him to see that that his dreams came true. No matter how young you are, never stop dreaming. God will take care of the rest.
3) Amplify Your Story
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” – Romans 12:1
Your story has so much power. Whether you realize it or not. I remember growing up and hearing people with these amazing testimonies and wishing that I had gone through troubles with drugs or alcohol or something else – so I could have a cool ‘coming to Jesus moment.’ When I was younger I thought that was the only way my story would help someone.
Let me just say… I was so wrong. All of our stories, no matter how pretty or ugly they are, can and will help those around us, if we allow God to work through us. You may have someone in your life whose story has helped motivate you to serve or create a ministry or fight for something. Just like they helped you, amplify your story to do the same.
We will always continue to fail and to fall in life. We must embrace those scratches, those dents, the ugly parts knowing that God will use those to change the world around us. Those scratches are not character flaws they are the very thing that builds character.
See what you may not realize is that your story is not defined by your failures, but rather the future that is realized because of them. Use the ugly to create something beautiful. For me, it has been a healing mechanism for me. Use the ugly in my life. The things I am not proud of and be fueled to make something beautiful.
So whether you are turning 30, 40, 50, 60 or whatever you want to say 39.95. I would encourage you to do a self-assessment. Do a review on yourself. Sit back and pray and ask God to reveal the areas where you are struggling to live out your faith. Ask God to reveal the areas where you are lacking and pray that you become a vessel of change in a world that is desperately in need of it.
So Never Settle | Always Dream | And Amplify Your Story
– Mic Mohler