Often he who does too much does too little
This is the final chapter in Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working by Craig Groeschel. I have enjoyed reading it and I hope you have enjoyed “reading” it!
Chapter 15 opens up with Groeschel talking about New Years and the many resolutions that are made then broken.
By the end of January he says that “40 percent of people who made New Year’s resolutions break them. By Valentine’s Day, the number of people who cannot sustain what they started jumps up to 75 percent.”
Groeschel adds that in the last few years he has changed his New Years ritual in a “positively weird way.”
Instead of making a long list of resolutions for myself, I make only one resolution that’s chosen by someone else.
The problem, Groeschel tells us, is that “many of us try to imagine all the things we’d like to be different about our lives and we try to tackle them all at once.”
Usually, though, we spend more time making those lists than we do actually following up and doing the items on them.
Many people have a lot of unfinished ideas–myself included
So several years ago, Groeschel began a “personal discipline to limit (his) life’s focus.” He will pray in the months leading up to a new year, asking God to reveal to him “What is the one thing you want to be different in my life next year?”
One thing may not sound like a big deal to you…..but think about it. If you set out to change several things in one year and you don’t fully accomplish any of them, what was the point?
So consider the weird alternative: if you can change just one thing in your life and you change that one thing entirely, fully, completely–then over the course of a decade, the landscape of your life will look dramatically different.
Ten cumulative one things. Ten major changes. Ten disciplines. Ten steps closer to who God wants you to be. A decade of one things adds up to a changed life.
Paved With God Intentions
We all have good intentions when it comes to making new years resolutions. But as Groeschel tells us “good intentions can’t change us or improve our lives without action.”
If we want to be better than normal, we must move from good intentions to what I call God intentions.”
Groeschel tells us that good intentions are our ideas we have that motivate us to set and achieve the goals that we genuinely want to accomplish. God intentions go “way beyond this, because they rely on discovering and acting on what HE wants us to do.”
Whereas good intentions are what we come up with, God intentions are our Father’s ideas.
So how do we find out God’s intentions? We simply ask Him. “If you’ll listen to the Spirit of God, I believe he’ll speak directly to you and show you that ONE thing that he wants for you and from you.”
Good intentions are me-centered.
God intentions are God-centered.
And when God puts something into you, you can be certain it will come to pass.
Maybe God wants to do a new thing for you. Something different. Something weird. Maybe he isn’t waiting until New Year’s to reveal it to you–maybe he’s starting right now.
Isaiah 43:18-19 says “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
U + 4 = 1
Groeschel gives us 4 questions that can help provide clarity if we’re serious about wanting to know what God wants us to focus on.
- What One Thing Do You Desire From God? “If God were to offer you, ‘I’ll do any one thing that you ask’ what would you ask for? In the Bible, throughout his lifetime, David asked God for many different things–strength, courage, victory over enemies, help for his children, forgiveness. However, there is ONE prayer that David focused on that seemingly put all his desires into a singular request. “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple (Psalm 27:4) David was a man after God’s own heart. If he could have ONE thing, he chose to want to be with God, in his presence always.
- What One Thing Do You Lack? In your relationship with God, what one thing is missing? Remember the rich young ruler? He asks Jesus “What do I need to do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus tells him “You need to obey the commandments.” The rich young ruler confirms that he has done all these things. However Jesus can see through to this man’s heart, seeing a problem that the young rule didn’t even know he had. So he tells him to go sell everything he had and to sell it to the poor. “Then come follow me.” The rich young ruler became sad and walked away because he was very rich and had very many material items. “For many of us, it’s just one thing standing in our way of completely following Jesus.”
- What One Thing Do You Need To Let Go? Normal people hold on to just about everything–busyness, money, possessions, grudges. It’s time to get weird and do something different–let one big thing go. Philippians 3:14-15 says “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But ONE THING, I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Forget the past. Forge into the future. Let go. “If you’re not moving forward, not headed where God wants you to be, maybe it’s because you’re holding on to something from the past.”
- What One Promise Do You Need to Claim? “We mustn’t lose the hope of a specific promise that God has given us. It may not look like we expect it to look, or arrive when we want it to arrive but God is always faithful to His word.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us that God’s grace is “sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
One For All
Normal people attempt countless goals with limited success. Weird people focus on just one God-given objective with tremendous results.
Let God create you in his masterpiece. “He will make you truly different and joyfully weird.”