Here’s my latest podcast on following Jesus incarnationally.
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There is a tribe of human beings who love beginnings. Are you one of them?
If you said yes to any of those things then you might be like me: a person obsessed with beginnings.
There are other ways to describe us — visionaries, entrepreneurs, self-starters, etc. But those descriptions are too positive, too sexy, and too deceptive. What people like me really are is this: we’re scared of slow success, we’re impatient, and we can be a terror to lead.
When I was a freshman in college I asked my parents for a guitar for Christmas. My dad wisely resisted, saying something like this: “Why? You’ll just put it down and not touch it for two years after you mess around it with it for a week.”
Does this sort of response sound familiar to you? Well, it did to me then (and still does today!). But I promised my dad that I wouldn’t quit, that I would stick with it no matter what. This was going to be different than the skateboard, the remote-controlled car, the yo-yo, etc., etc.
And it was. For what seemed like the first time in my life I put in effort. I got past my obsession with beginnings and put in the hard and arduous work of learning to play the guitar as a not-so-musically-talented person.
I spent months learning how to play the G, C, and D chords so that I could play 95% of the worship songs out there.
I took three college classes on guitar and music theory for guitar.
I upgraded my guitar, selling my first one in the process, after months of saving up enough cash.
I practiced religiously for years, eventually upgrading again and helping lead worship for hundreds of people.
I finally got to experience the joy of something besides beginnings…and it was great!
Here’s my contention — for some of us we need to be told again and again that beginnings aren’t sexy. They aren’t all that they seem. Sure, they’re fun and challenging and full of affirmation. But their joy is short-lived. Friends, the things in life that are worth living for can’t be fully enjoyed at just their beginnings.
What sorts of things?
So beginnings can be tantalizingly appealing. But they really aren’t as sexy as they seem. The real stuff comes with age, with time, and with experience. The real stuff can’t be discovered overnight. The real stuff must be teased out and spelled out over years and years if not decades and decades.
So here’s the challenge: Barring something exceptional (like abuse or a clear word for God), stick to the things you feel God has called you to. Don’t jump around. Invest in your human relationships. Lead well for a long time in one place. And follow Jesus for your whole life.
What do you think? What’s is so enticing about beginnings? And am I right, is the long haul actually better?