Keeping It Real: Get Off The Sidelines!

I recently chatted with friends attending their high school class reunion. Thoughts of seeing folks you haven’t engaged for decades can trigger incredible excitement fastened to sudden episodes of panic, can’t it? We wrestle with wrinkles and weight, comparing our imperfect lives to the perfect plans we finely crafted for ourselves all those years ago. We compare the journey we imagined to the one we now possess.

When we envisioned our future all those years ago, did any of us believe it would look like this? Let’s face it. We are not exactly what we dreamed for ourselves. For many of us, we’re not at all where we intended to be in this journey called life.

It’s funny how age changes our perception, isn’t it? In our twenties, we set out to conquer the world. We feel invincible, unstoppable really. Our goals are grand. Our dreams are lofty. No one can slow our pace or diminish our pursuits. We will achieve!

Thirty hits. (Time out! Why didn’t someone bother to tell us that time speeds up when you become an adult?) We’re not as far along the trajectory of our dreams as we initially planned, but we’ve still got time. After all, we’re just thirty.

Forty comes out of nowhere! (Someone hit the panic button!) Much has gotten in the way of our dreams, mainly us. Our hopes are fading faster than we can fulfill them. We realize some of those noble ambitions are never going to materialize. Consequently, we try to recapture our youth, otherwise known as a mid-life crisis. (I don’t recommend this. It gets ugly.) Or we simply begin going through the motions. It’s as if the life has been squeezed right out of us.

By the time we reach our fifties, most folks realize their ambitions got buried somewhere along the way. They can’t remember when it happened or how. They just can’t recall the last time they actually contemplated their dreams. Tragically, too many people choose to sit on the sidelines at this point, cheering on their kids as they pursue their goals. These precious individuals genuinely believe their time has passed. NEWS FLASH! Nothing could be further from the truth!

Whoever you are, wherever you find yourself, if you’re breathing, I need you to listen to me! You were not made for the sidelines! God’s not even close to finished with you yet! I know, some of you feel the need to explain all the reasons you’ve been disqualified. It sounds something like this: “I’m in this predicament because of my own stupid mistakes!” “My kids are a mess because I’m a pathetic parent.” “I’m paying for my past!”

Have you forgotten that we’re talking about the all-knowing God? He knew you were going to mess up before you messed up. He realized your mistakes before He infused you with purpose. Your failures didn’t cause God to retreat even one inch in His plans for you. With full knowledge of your flaws, God dreamed big for your future!

In fact, God does some of His best work in the lives of those who have gotten to the end of self. When you hit the wall, realizing you don’t have what it takes, you become the perfect candidate for God to reveal all that He can achieve through you!

If you’re sitting on the sidelines, I’m talking to YOU! God is calling YOU to an adventure! When we allow God to write our story, it’s always better than we deserve and greater than we can imagine for ourselves! I’m living proof! I never cease to be amazed at God’s incredible assignment upon my life. If He can do what He’s done in me, there’s no end to what He can accomplish in you!

It’s time to get off the sidelines and taste the adventure. God’s got big dreams with your name on it! Friend, He’s not even close to finished with you yet! In fact, He’s just getting started!

For comments or prayer, contact Dr. Lanier at