Do you know that moment when you just decide to give up? Or maybe it’s the moment when you realized you gave up? Perhaps the quitting came to you casually. It just happened without you even noticing. It quietly and slowly made its way into your soul. And you gave up without a fight.
“Complacency is the first and easiest thing you can allow in that will screw up your life. It will kill marriages, friendships, careers, opportunities, dreams and even entire societies. By growing complacent, I was quitting on myself. . . Human beings need mountains to climb, we need frontiers to explore. We have to reach for the impossible, or something in us dies.”
I used to see my life as getting older. I felt like I was running out of time. But not anymore.
In the past few months, I am seeing my life expand as time passes along. The best is yet to come. I’m still dreaming. That’s my plan for the next thirty years. Unless I let complacency win. It’s my enemy.
While some would interject that I am in the prime of my life right now (and on some levels, they are right), I would disagree. I believe my best is still in front of me. I want to become more – more than I am right now. For me, growing older means gaining things like strength, love, wisdom and courage. At least, that’s the way I see it now. Perhaps I am speaking out of turn since I’m only 52, but I know ahead of time the one enemy I must defeat. It’s complacency. It will rob me of life if I let it. Each day, it is only a step away from infiltrating my soul and subduing it.
Here’s what I know – On my last day on earth, I want to be the wisest, strongest, most loving and most courageous I’ve ever been my whole life. I want to peak on that day. Here’s what I don’t know – what day that is. So I desire to grow every day, to become more tomorrow than I am today.
I just finished reading The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holliday (which I highly recommend). In the final section titled, “Prepare to Start Again,” he wrote that life is a process of breaking through impediments.
“Each time, you’ll learn something. Each time, you’ll develop strength, wisdom and perspective. Each time, a little more of the competition falls away. Until all that is left is you: the best version of you . . . The more you accomplish, the more things will stand in your way. There are always more obstacles, bigger challenges. You’re always fighting uphill. Get used to it and train accordingly.”
I don’t expect life to get easier. I expect life to get harder, but I don’t want to become cynical. Or complacent. Instead, I expect that during this process GOD will make me stronger, more resilient, more willing to take on new risks, to face new challenges, to become bolder and to embrace life at a greater level.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
– Paul, 2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV
No, I don’t know what dangers lurk in the darkness of the veiled future. I hate to even think about it. All I know is that GOD has promised to bring me through them and to transform me in the process. He is much greater than anything I’ll ever face. He is for me, not against me. And on the other side, I’ll see clearly the hand that guided me and the heart that loved me. I will know that He worked in every situation I encountered for my good. He was in the midst of my life shaping me into a greater person. He was making me more, specifically more like Christ.
If you only see that you are getting older, then you are missing the point. Complacency has befriended you. Do more than become older. Become better. Embrace the challenge of this marathon called life. Press on toward your greatest day, your last day. Die at the pinnacle.