Recently I heard someone pose this question, "Would you do something you don't want to do to get an outcome that you desire?" The context in which the question was presented caused it to strike me in a pretty forceful way, and it made for some interesting introspection.
As I mentioned in another post, I am a fairly classic firstborn. Dreaming comes easy for me. I can see end results with an amazing amount of clarity and color. On the other hand, motivation to take the baby steps...well, it's a little slower in coming! Maybe you can relate.
As a college student, there were lots of little things that I just did not want to do. To begin with, I wasn't all that crazy about majoring in elementary education. I was one who chose my college before I chose my major, rather than selecting a field then looking at colleges that had programs within my chosen course of study. Looking back, I see God's hand in all of those decisions, but at the time I found it very frustrating to have to sift through piles of "silly" projects and seemingly endless lectures on subjects that really wouldn't impact my future in a real practical way...or so I thought. I detested the time spent making file folder games for preschoolers and notebooks full of worksheets for elementary students...little did I know. :)
Really, on a much larger scale, I think most women who are ambitious have goals, plans, and objectives for their own lives and for the lives of those over whom they have influence. It's much more complex than just making it to the end of the week or the year, or holding out until the kids are grown, or even until we retire from our chosen professions. There are dreams that we want to see fulfilled. We don't want to just make it through life, we want to L*I*V*E* every moment to its maximum potential! Getting from point A to point B, however, can be more difficult than it seems. It requires effort, and lots of it.
If you listen to conversations among women, you may hear statements like these:
"You have no idea how much I would love to lose some weight!"
"Wow...what I wouldn't give to be able to drive a car like that!"
"I sure wish my daughter could play the piano."
"Wouldn't it be nice to come home to a clean house?"
"I wish my kids had more interest in spiritual things."
"It just seems like we never have enough money."
"She's lucky that she has such a great husband."
...and you could keep adding to this list.
The sad thing is that many women will only continue to wish because the outcome never becomes real enough to propel them into action. As much as a momma of four likes to think, a clean house is not a goal that cannot be reached. It requires discipline, consistency, and more discipline, but it can be done. Nice husbands are a blessing, but we can help to make our husbands nicer by being better wives. It's not always easy to treat a pig like a king (my husband isn't a pig, but some are, I've heard), but the outcome just might be worth the effort! We can begin to shed excess weight by controlling our eating impulses and exercising our muscles. Not easy, but worth it. Children can learn to play musical instruments when their parents are willing to sacrifice to pay for lessons and then require the necessary practice. Money can be more abundant when one is willing to work hard to acquire it, and then use it wisely. Parents can raise spiritually minded children when they love God, make their home a place for His presence, speak highly of the church and its people, train the children in His ways, and involve them in cheerful acts of service (cheerful is a key word here).
Inside each of us resides a God-given mechanism that determines our actions and responses in every situation we encounter. It is our will. God doesn't want puppet servants, He wants people who actively choose to follow Him and seek to make good decisions, so He created us to have a choice. This same inner force is what will either help us reach our dreams or leave us continuing to wish.
So, here is my question for you...Are you willing to do something you don't want to do in order to achieve an outcome that you really desire? If you are, please leave a comment and share your experience. You may be an encouragement to someone else who is walking in your shoes!