Become excellent at the revealed things. –Ben Stuart
When I have time I’m going to lead a weekly small group of women and talk about about God, our dreams, and pray about things that really matter in our lives.
When I have more money, I’m going to be generous. I’m going to give my money away to people in need, and I’m going to help sponsor kids in third world countries.
When my photography season slows down I’m going to sit down and write that book I’ve been talking about all year.
When I’m married I’m going to be such an incredible and attentive wife. We’re going to do big things, serve others together, and invest into the lives of the next generation.
Do you notice anything in common with all of these statements that have out loud come out of my mouth this last year (multiple times)?
They all focus on the lack of something. The lack of time, finances, a partner. The allusive ‘one day when…’ then will I do great things, things that matter. Isn’t it so easy to talk about the things we’ll do one day when? I’m an expert at it.
One of my close friends and I have a 30 minute phone call every Monday morning at 8:30a.m. We go over our business goals for the week, things we want to pray about, and recount the previous week: goals, what we accomplished, prayers answered, things that still need getting done.
This Monday morning we were both exhausted. I was sitting upright in my bed, my knees in my chest, balancing the phone on my shoulder, and writing down notes as Lindsey talked about her past week. She was telling me about a speaker she heard on a panel last Friday, and he said, “become excellent at the revealed things’. She moved on and we talked about other things. But something struck me about it, and I furiously wrote down the quote with a star next to it.
Over the last few days I just can’t get the concept out of my head: become excellent at the revealed things. I think there’s an invitation in this for me, and for us.
His whole point was that we’re so focused on the areas of lack in our lives. The unanswered prayers, the circumstances in our lives that aren’t as we hoped they would be. And those things are very real. And unmet desires and longings and provisions are hard things.
But when we pause. Step back, and take an aerial view our lives, there are so many revealed things that we are ignoring because so much attention is going to the unrevealed. The places we’re still hoping for.
To make it personal, I can get so focused on the fact that I’m single when I desire so much to be a wife and a mother. This desire of mine is such a good one. It’s beautiful, and pure, and I pray for that man to be brought into my life.
But I want to live a life that holds the tension of the now, and the not yet. It’s ok to hope and pray boldly for things I long for. I believe I pray to a God who hears, listens, and responds (even when He responds in ways I don’t like).
My life is in full swing. We’re mid story here folks. The reality is there are things that I can do and be now as a single woman that simply are not feasible when there’s someone else in the picture. Now is the time for me to chase my big career dreams, to travel and take last minute trips and be adventurous and spontaneous. Now is the time when I don’t have kids and have free time that I can volunteer at my church or for a non profit. If I want to be a generous married person, then I get to practice being a generous person today. A ring on my finger doesn’t magically give me good spending habits. I’ve always wanted to mentor young people with my husband one day. Have people in our home, do life with them. If that’s what I want then, then that’s what I get to practice now.
Life won’t slow down. Ever. For anyone. So I get to create space now to write my book, lead small groups, be generous, write articles that share my heart. If I don’t then my life will turn into one big ‘one day when’, and then I’ll get to the end of it not having done or been anything.
I may or may not get married.
I may or not be a millionaire that can fund education for kids all over the world.
I may or not be write a best selling book.
But I am here. And it is now, and I believe there have been a lot of beautiful things already revealed to me (and to you too).
And even if it’s just little steps each day, I want to be faithful to the things and to the people that God has already put in my path.
I want to become excellent at the revealed things, and hope and pray and believe for the unrevealed.