Keep your eyes on the prize. Do not let them wander. Focus on your goals.
I say this has been something I have struggled with for the longest time. I admit I was impatient. I got discouraged easily, and I definitely did not enjoy waiting.
And so, every time I looked forward to or wanted something so bad, it always started out optimistically. I’d be motivated, inspired, excited. It’s the same self-talk over and over, replayed in my mind constantly. You got this. The same prayer on repeat. We got this, Lord!
But whenever things proved to be more difficult than I had expected, whenever it took me longer to get there, the storyline would shift. The mood would change. “Maybe this is not for me” would be the new motto.
And then self-pity would follow. Self-blame at times. Negative self-talk. Those are the things I put myself through with every shattered dream. With every unachieved goal. Why? Why are you making it difficult for me, Lord? Didn’t you say, “Ask and it will be given to you?” I asked, didn’t I? In fact, I begged. So why?
And so, it was a cycle of never-ending disappointments and frustrations. Until one day I pondered longer on the questions. The questions that were, what was I doing wrong? Am I plainly unlucky, is my life destined to be mediocre? Am I my life’s biggest disappointment?
It wasn’t until I learned, the hard way I would say, to let my eyes wander. Yes, keep your eyes on the prize. But you don’t have to fixate on the goal alone. That’s what brings about disappointments, because some things, no matter how much we want them, are never meant to be ours. Sometimes, it does not go according to our plan. Because always, it is up to God’s plan, and His plan might not be what we wanted in the beginning.
I had to learn to trust. Trust the process. Trust Him and surrender. And by surrender I mean let Him decide where I go. And with that in mind, I opened my eyes to what was happening while I walked towards where I think I am going. I allowed myself to feel triumph over every little accomplishment, to mourn every setback but not dwell on them. To appreciate every small step.
I learned to accept that sometimes you don’t end up where you were headed, or that there are unexpected roadblocks along the way. That detours and reroutes are okay. That when you reach a dead end, you can always head back and find the right way. That in every undertaking, you literally just do your best and let God do the rest.
The journey or the process may be hard, but that’s what brings about a sense of victory at the finish line. We learn along the way and though it does not make the next quest any easier, it gives us what we may need for next time. And while my pep talks remain the same, my prayer has changed to “Lord, take me where You want me to be.”
Cutting corners certainly is not an option. Because at the end of the day, it definitely does not matter how long it takes you to get there, as long as you get there. Eventually, you will get there. Somewhere you worked so hard to be in. And what a joy it will be when the time comes. So go ahead, embrace the process!