If you're anything like me, sometimes you feel like there's nothing happening in your life...and perhaps nothing ever will. The dreams that you've been holding onto are slipping through your fingers. The hopes of some kind of breakthrough professionally or relationally are gradually drifting out to sea, leaving a tangleweed of cynicism behind for you to trudge through.
Then I had this crazy thought this morning, reading a killer book called The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. He dares to suppose that this time we're spending in what he calls The Waste Land, where we feel like nothing's happening and probably never will, is actually a very purpose-filled time. That it's a time where we are being turned into the people that will actually be capable of carrying out the dreams and hopes we're holding onto.
It's funny how everyone who enters into the military knows they have to go through the horrid, near-torture of boot-camp. But they do it because they know that it is going to prepare them for what's to come. The pain, struggle and conflict during this brief time holds great purpose for them and their greater mission.
I believe this time that you're in right now is a building, growing, boot-camp, of sorts. My beliefs tell me that everything happens for a purpose, and even for a good reason. Believing that allows wherever I'm at right now to be a place of great importance.
Your boot-camp might feel more like a repair shop. Don't you hate taking your car into the shop for repairs? It's horribly inconvenient. Try to imagine being the car, for just a minute. My car has been built to drive fast. To take the curves and bumps like a champ, handling the roads like a dream, taking me wherever I want to go, and making it a great experience, which it does most of the time! But when I have to take it in the shop because something's not working exactly right, do you think the car complains about how it's not out on the road doing what it was created to do? I don't think so! I can only imagine the relief it must feel getting everything back in working order, even if it means waiting around a stinky repair shop for a day or so. There's nothing the car can do except go through the repair process until it's time to get back on the road. Get my analogy?
You and I were created for something great, and with the help of God and the people who love us, I believe we can set our sights on going after a big, hairy, audacious goal. And hopefully along the way we can remind each other of the benefit of the quiet times, the times when we are being tweaked and tuned, punched and pummeled, making us stronger and better prepared for the roads ahead of us. That makes each mile of the journey that much more meaningful, I believe.
I want to be one of those people who can focus on what I'm turning into, rather than focusing on how I might feel like I'm being held back right now. The best is yet to come, and I'm on my way.
Mark Smeby is a Nashville-based recording artist and author quickly becoming considered "The Voice of Hope" through his work creating projects, resources, and live events focused on the concept of hope. His "Live Hope Minute" nationally-syndicated radio feature is heard daily on 250 radio outlets around the U.S. and Canada, and is now available as a hardcover one year devotional. More info is at: www.livehopenow.com