The internet is one of the best things to ever happen to humanity. Connection across continents in seconds flat. Shopping from the comfort of your own comforter. Infinite ideas and information just a few keystrokes away.
Then again, the internet is one of the worst things to ever happen to humanity. Filth and foolishness assaulting our children’s vulnerable minds. Way-too-easy access to any and all of our vices. A never-ending stream of time-draining, mind-numbing idiocy distracting us from far more important things.
And among the worst of what the web has to offer is the culture of comparison that comes with social media!
We used to have to wait until our friends got back from vacation and had their photos developed at the local Perry Drug Store. Now we’ve practically got a live-feed to their wonderful adventures through Facebook and Instagram! We get to see all the fun they’re having from the front-row seat of our smartphones.
We get to see how well their kids are doing in school…how magically romantic their anniversary or Valentine’s Day turned out to be…how nice their new home is and how smooth the buying process was…how inspiring their graduation was or how excited they are to get the promotion at work…how many clients they already have for their new business…and on and on and on.
And if you’re struggling to do any of that, it can get really depressing to see it happening so easily for others. And let’s not even talk about how it feels when you’ve been trying to honor God with your life, but people who don’t even give Him a second thought seem to have everything you’ve been praying and working for! Asaph kept it real in Psalm 73—that can be an extremely tough pill to swallow.
That’s why every now and then we need to unplug and snap out of the self-induced trance of people-watching and get our eyes back on the Lord where they belong. We need to be reminded that, as the people of God, we’re moving on the divine timetable of His will. We need to be reminded that prosperity and progress will come at the pace of His perfect purpose for our lives. We have to learn to succeed at Godspeed.
Learning to succeed at Godspeed means throwing away the stopwatch that other people’s progress imposes on your success.
First of all, remember that people tend to showcase their highlights, not their struggles and failures. They show you the glory, but not the story! So don’t get jealous of others or impatient with God based on some pretty pictures that are posted—you may not want what they’ve got if you knew what it took to get it.
And secondly, remember that we have a God who can do whatever He wants whenever He wants to do it! Nothing is too hard for Him. What happened for someone else at 25 may not happen for you until you’re 50. But trust that if it’s truly from God, whenever He gives it to you, He’ll also give you the vigor and vitality to enjoy it. Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31). Don’t forget how old Abraham and Sarah were when they finally had their first child!
When you’re walking with God, the clock goes out the window—there’s no such thing as “too late” when you serve a God who’s always on time!
Learning to succeed at Godspeed means accepting that the journey is more important to Him than the destination.
We tend to focus on the payoff. We want to arrive and be able to say we made it. We want the fruit of our labor and the satisfaction of attaining the goal. But I believe God places more value on the process than the payoff.
He wants us to become mature, steadfast believers.
He wants us to be closer to Him and to share in His divine nature.
He wants us to be equipped with a testimony that will help somebody else on their journey.
And all of that ONLY comes through the struggle, the wait, the trial-and-error. Growth only comes by failing and falling short. God doesn’t give us the gold right away because He knows there are much more valuable blessings to be picked up along the path. So, by faith, we trust that the process is giving us something more eternally significant than the payoff ever could.
So throw away the stopwatch and all the stress that comes with it. Get off of everybody else’s schedule. Stop comparing and competing with the success you see around you.
Develop YOUR unique gifts and abilities. Move at YOUR own Spirit-led pace. And enjoy YOUR good and perfect gifts from the Father whenever He chooses to give them!
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Be blessed and be a blessing!