Why does it seem that no matter hard we push ourselves to attain some goal, we always seem to fall short of reaching it? It does not natter how admirable, noble, or even necessary the goal in question is, we always seem to fail just before fully accomplishing it Nor does it seem to matter how much energy or will power or positive thinking we might throw at it in the beginning, the desired end result always seems to be ever elusive.
On the other hand, we all know of people who have overcome great odds to succeed at some goal that they have set out to attain. We have modern-day heroes like Lance Armstrong, Joni Eareckson Tada, Christopher Reeve, Cody McCasland and Bethany Hamilton, who amaze and inspire us in their ability to overcome great adversity and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. When we look at what they have been able to do with their lives, we cannot help but ask ourselves, “Why can’t I do that too? If they can overcome such great challenges, why do I have such a difficult time dealing with my own comparatively insignificant issues?”
When it comes to accomplishing any kind of task, there is one little truth that I suspect many of us miss. And that truth is this: if you must say “I will try…”, you have already accepted failure as the inevitable result. At first glance, this might appear to be just a nice saying or a line from some motivational book. Your first reaction might very well be “Yeah right, whatever.” But make no mistake about it; this bit of truth has the potential to be earth-shaking. Those people who truly “get it” regarding this little truth go on to accomplish great things, and make a positive impact upon all who cross their paths.
Even the apostle Paul apparently understood this truth some 2,000 years ago when he wrote his letter to the Christian Church in Philippi (below). Because he personally experienced the power of God first-hand, he knew beyond all doubt that His grace would give him everything he needed to accomplish all that he was called to do. He put everything behind him, including all doubts, fears, past failures, and even the ridicule of those around him. He knew where he was going, and pressed on toward that end, fully expecting to get there.
On a personal note, I have had to dig deep within myself and rediscover this truth all over again. Several years ago, I was diagnosed as having severe compression on my spinal cord due to stenosis. It made me so weak that I came very close to being in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. When I underwent a series of surgeries to fuse my upper spine, the best that the neurosurgeon could promise me was that I would not get any worse. Well, fighting against all odds, including the lack of faith of those around me, I have pushed myself toward the goal of being able to walk and run again. It has been a very long and excruciatingly slow recovery, and I am not there yet. But I have come a long way in the past three years, gradually increasing in strength and improving my balance. I still need to use a walker when outside the house, but am able to ride my recumbent trike almost every day. All this was possible, first of all, because of God’s grace, but also because I put the words “I will try” out of my vocabulary.
✝ Oh my beloved Lord Jesus, I thank You for helping me to reclaim that can-do attitude that You blessed me with at a very early age. Please use me to instill that same gift to all those with whom i might cross paths. Help me, like the apostle Paul, to more fully live the “I will!” lifestyle as I learn to lean more and more upon Your provision and grace. I pray a special blessing upon all who will read this, that You will give each a fresh infusion of the can-do grace that comes from your Holy Spirit. Thank you, Lord, for this moment of grace and truth! ✝
Philippians 3:12-14 (NJB)
Not that I have secured it already, nor yet reached my goal, but I am still pursuing it in the attempt to take hold of the prize for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not reckon myself as having taken hold of it; I can only say that forgetting all that lies behind me, and straining forward to what lies in front, I am racing towards the finishing-point to win the prize of God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:13 (NAB)
I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.