Do you ever feel as if you are moving at a snail’s pace? Or possibly even slower? Have you gotten to the point where you find it difficult to continue? I’m not talking about depression – that’s another topic. I mean those times when you know you need to do something, but it is extremely tough to take that next step, possibly because of the daunting nature of the overall project at hand?
This has been my life over the past six years. Yes, it has been six years since I began to work on my M.A. thesis. In the beginning, it wasn’t that hard to find motivation. However, after my first proposal was denied, my life began changing. I moved to NH to start a new ministry, I got married, and life began to quickly get in the way. I struggled to find motivation to complete it, despite the fact that I truly did want to get it done.
Finally, I found my motivation last fall. The school basically said I have to finish, or I will have to re-enroll. There you go! That’s what did it for me. Since then, I re-wrote my proposal, and I am now going through my research for my third out of five chapters. Yes, the time-crunch is there, because graduation is in May, but I have the motivation again.
What motivates you when times get tough? When you feel like you cannot start again or continue moving forward, what pushes you to take that first step toward completion? Maybe it is a fitness goal. Maybe it is an educational goal. Maybe it is a social goal. Maybe it is just getting off the couch to do the dishes. I think this is very important when it comes to our spiritual walk with God. Sometimes, for whatever reason, we lack motivation. Last night during our study on The Circle Maker, a student asked me what motivates me to pray intensely and consistently. After informing him that I am far from perfect in this area, I pointed to the times when God has answered prayers in the past and when I know something is definitely within His perfect will. At those times, I am motivated to pray like crazy. Unfortunately, there are other times when I lack that motivation… when I forget or neglect God’s power.
So, what about you? What gets you going? Is it one of those posters? Is it a story? Is it a trusted friend? Is it an ultimatum that is placed upon you? Is it a look at the whole picture? Is it remembering God? Is it a recollection of the past? Whatever it is, I urge you to run to it every time you feel yourself lacking. Meanwhile, I am going to try taking my own advice.