Running in Place

Sometimes in life it feels like no matter how hard we try; we can’t seem to move forward. You set out to run the race well but make little to no progress. We start to climb the mountain and just as we gain ground, we slide back to our original starting point. Our intentions are good and the will to start is there, but after taking body blow after body blow, we feel like we need to tap out. We spend so much time on our back that our nickname should be canvas. Frustration starts to set in which is a precursor to depression and his evil cousin anger. YO ADRIAN, can I get a little help over here! 

If this is you right now I know how you are feeling because I am walking beside you. My business, Cactus Athletics is generating very little income and there are no book sales or public speaking engagements lined up for me. The spring school semester recently ended, so I am no longer receiving checks for teaching at Grand Canyon University. I started applying for jobs with other organizations but have not heard back from any of the them. I sucked up my pride and applied for unemployment last month, but my application is floating in limbo. Recently it feels like I’m at the bottom of the hourglass and the sand keeps pouring on my head.

Even though it seems like you are not making any progress during this difficult time, I want you to know that God still has His best planned for you. In times like this we need to narrow our focus and get our priorities straight. Maybe you got let go from your job and this is a time for you to go after the career you’ve always wanted. God could be rocking your boat because you were too scared to get out of it and meet him on the water. No matter what your situation is, I encourage you to focus on the following three things: Perspective, Prayer and Preparation.

Perspective

When you take a deep breath and look at things clearly, how bad is your current situation? Let’s put things into perspective. Are you healthy? Is there a roof over your head, food in your fridge, and clothes on your back? Do you have loved ones close by who you can rely on? If you said yes to all of these things, then you are rich compared to millions of others. Trust me I get it. Ten years ago, I lost my house and three investment properties. I went from owning four homes to renting from someone else. We were buying groceries with our credit card and scared about what the future held. What kept me focused and positive was knowing that I am a child of God and that He had something amazing planned for me.

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

Galatians 3:26, NASB

Prayer

This is one of the most powerful weapons you have in your arsenal. It the bazooka on the battlefront, the wicked slider when you are up 1-2 in the count, and the batarang of your utility belt. This is your go-to and it needs to be done on a daily basis. The more your pray and read the bible, the stronger you get spiritually. Plenty of you guys work on your physical strength, but how many of you work on your spiritual strength? It not only benefits you, but others as well. Think about how when a friend who is struggling with something comes to you for advice. How powerful is it when you can give them not just what you think, but back it with wisdom from the bible?! So, get in the squat rack (prayer closet) and work on your Godly Glutes, Holy Hamstrings and Christ-like Core! RRRAARRRGGHHHH!!!

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.”

1 Timothy 4:8, ESV

Preparation

I recently interviewed for a coaching job and I am waiting to see what happens. In the meantime, I could obsess over how I answered the panel’s questions and stare at the phone like a 14-year old girl waiting for the guy she likes to call her (deep breath), or I could do something productive. I have prepared for a yes by formulating documents and plans that will set me up for coaching the team over the next year. This includes my interactions with assistant coaches, players, administrators, alumni and parents. If for some reason the school comes back and says they went in a different direction, the work I did is set for the next job that God has for me. One that will be even better and be a bigger blessing for my family. You simply take the necessary steps towards your goal and then at some point leave the rest up to God. Like the wise farmer does, prepare your fields and God will send the rain. Check out this two-minute video clip from the movie “Facing the Giants”. It ends with an all-time inspiring mic-drop!

Here are some things to think about this week and apply to your life:

  • Make a self-checklist and realize the blessings in your life.
  • Start spending more quiet time with God and find your “prayer closet”.
  • Read the bible on a daily basis every morning immediately after you wake up.
  • Show your faith by preparing your field for God’s blessing before you get it. 

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