So often, we hear stories of people who have used their life to make a difference. We see people with non-profit organizations and successful businesses and we wonder how it was so easy for them. How’d they get to where they are? Or at least, how did they start?
But here’s what’s bothering me most—
How can I make a difference when where I want to be is so far from where I am now?
I have become so caught up in doing something huge with my life that I can’t even begin to imagine how on earth I’m ever going to get there.
I mean first of all, I plan on spending four years in college (maybe more in seminary?), the amount of time it takes to write and publish one book is crazy, and to really build an audience does not simply come by chance.
Not only is there this time issue, but so often I hope that I will be able to expand my impact through more than simply writing and speaking. And how on earth do I even begin to do that?
But once again, God knew what I needed to hear.
One woman recently shared her story with me, and I was encouraged by what she had to say. She shared of her life and how God had changed her plans drastically to help her make more of an impact than she had ever imagined—not to mention exact opposite of what she had originally planned.
From her story, I started to realize that now, as a senior in high school, I know close to nothing about what the rest of my life look like. And that’s okay.
Her story reminded me that I don’t have to worry about what I’m doing 20 years from now, because I’m not there yet. God can take what I do in these next 4, 6, 8 years to ripple into the rest of my life.
Maybe that means I start with writing and speaking and move on to something else. Or maybe I’ll always be using my words, just in different ways to different people.
Who knows what I’ll be doing 10 years from now, but I’m starting to believe that God will use today to impact that not-so-far-off and far-off future.
Ecclesiastes says that the end of a thing is better than the beginning. And though I am no Bible scholar, something about this verse finally clicked.
I had never thought too much about these words before because they never seemed to resonate with me. Saying goodbye, leaving…not super fun. So I just never understood how the end could be seen as good. It always seemed better to start.
But there’s a reason that we hear stories of people who have reached the finish line and people who have accomplished great things. We tend to forget that just because they were successful in the end doesn’t mean that their road wasn’t full of a whole lot of bumps and hardship along the way.
One day, I’ll be at the end of my career, and I’ll be thankful for all that I learned and the impact I made. I’ll even be thankful for the months and years that it took to get it all started.
I’m living those months and years right now, and I’m trying not to hurry it along too fast.
The beginning is hard, and I don’t know how long or how much work it’s going to take. But now is the time to enjoy the transition from the end of one good thing to the beginning of another.
I hope this was of some encouragement to you, too. Whether you’re starting something new, wondering how long it’s going to take to finally get there…or you’re stuck right in the middle, very ready to move on to that next thing.
Either way, I hope you and I can both learn to be patient for the future, knowing that the beginning (or the middle) isn’t always easy, but it is just as valuable.