Hard work never killed anyone but why take the chance? Seem like that’s the mind set of a lot of people. Sure, people working hard to pay the bills and feed their family is a given but that’s not the hard work I’m talking about. I’m referring to goals and dreams that people have but are too afraid or too comfortable to make them happen. If you asked an elderly person what they regret in their lifetime almost 100% of the time they would say, something that they didn’t do rather than something they did. They wished they would have spent more time with their family, they wished they would have started that business, they wished they would have saved more, or laughed more or loved more…they wish. Should of, would of, could of, but they didn’t.
I hate regret. When I was little my brother wanted our mom to take us to a haunted house. She said she would take us if I agreed to go. Gee thanks mom for leaving it up to me. As all young siblings know it’s only a matter of time before you buckle under the pressure of your possessed older brother or sister. After about an hour of me saying no, no and no. I finally agreed to go. The whole ride to the haunted house I remember my brother behind me whispering in my ear, “A werewolf is going to eat you! Werewolves like chubby boys like you!” I tried to hold my fear in but when we pulled into the parking lot and I looked to the exit I saw a drooling, howling werewolf chasing two grown adults out of the haunted house! I couldn’t hold my fear in any longer…matter of fact my fear came out in the form of vomit as I launched it all over the dash of my mom’s new car. Needless to say I didn’t go into that haunted house. Seems like for years after that I had to put up with my brother telling me how awesome that it was and how I missed it.
I vowed then at the age of six never to miss out on anything again! God calls us to things that seem impossible. God called Noah to build an ark; he called Moses to part the red sea; he called David to kill a giant; he called Abraham to leave his home and go to another land; he called Sara to have a child in her old age; and he called Jesus–his own son–to die on a tree. Each of these things were hard, extremely hard, and I bet at times when Noah was building that boat or Moses was leading those people, doubt would creep in. I bet they wondered if they did the right thing or if it was worth it. I think its funny how we think when we’re doing what God called us to do there should be no resistance and every door should just come flying open! Tell that to the Apostle Paul… shipwrecked, beaten, left for dead. Was he out of God’s will because things were tough?
Too many people take the easy road because it’s all they’ve ever known. They wouldn’t admit it but it’s easier to stay with what they’ve known than to take a blind step of faith and maybe fall and go through years of hard work. We build our kingdoms with our blood sweat and tears and when God calls us to something else we have become so attached to what we’ve built that we resist the call to start over. We begin to ignore and neglect the voice of God and rationalize and justify why we don’t need to do what he’s asked.
If there’s no cost, there’s no dream. My personal dream of being an evangelist and motivational speaker has not been easy. It’s taken hard work to be we’re I’m at today. It’s taken sacrifice, not just on my part, but on my family’s part. Sometimes I ask God why he couldn’t just call me to be a youth pastor or better yet, a regular “Joe” that works a secular job, attends church and pays his tithes faithfully. I know I wouldn’t be satisfied as a “Joe” because it’s not what God wants for me. I know I would regret it, and one day when I got to heaven it wouldn’t be my brother telling me what I had missed out on—it would be God who would show me all the things I could have done if I would have trusted Him more.
I’ve learned people call you crazy when you do what God wants. They don’t understand it, they in some way might even be jealous because they wish they could have the faith that you have and trust as you trust. Just a few weeks ago my wife was offered a worship leader position at a promising church where she would be compensated very well. The church we attend now cannot afford to pay her for her amazing abilities and it would have been so easy to accept this position. The thing is it would have been easy, convenient, and financially wise. A secular person might say “this is a great move for the both of you financially and corporately!” But, that’s not where God called us. He’s called us here, and being here takes work–hard work–but as cliché as it sounds, hard work does pay off.
I hope I never get so settled in my dream that when God calls me to the next dream I don’t go because I’m afraid of the hard work. What’s the dream that God’s given you? Are you afraid of the hard work it’s going to take to get there? Don’t live in regret! Get your hands dirty and reach for the impossible knowing that if God calls you He will equip you!!