What are you chasing after that is keeping you from reaching the full potential that God has planned for your life?
My pastor asked this question at church this morning. We’ve been studying out of 1 Kings for a while now, and every Sunday, I’m just amazed at how relevant the teaching is to my life and where I’m at right now. Last week we talked about the decisions that Solomon made and how they literally divided an entire kingdom. His poor choices didn’t only affect him. They were like ripples on a pond, or a domino effect. This really made me step back and survey the choices that I make on a daily basis. Take my job for example. Every single day, I’ve got a bunch of little eyes and ears that see and hear everything I do. Their attitude reflects my leadership. I’ve got the opportunity to influence these kids in either a negative way or I can teach them that we are responsible for how we act no matter how we feel. That’s a lot of responsibility resting on my shoulders, but what an incredible opportunity I have to help mold these kids in to who they are becoming. Sure, most of my kids are only four years old, but even at that age, they are watching my every move and they will do as I DO, not just as I say.
The question that my pastor asked us this morning is the same question I’ve been asking myself for a few weeks now. What is the thing, or things, in my life that I’m chasing that are keeping me from reaching my full potential? I have a tendency to go off on rabbit trails when I’m talking or writing and sometimes it takes me forever to come back to the point I was trying to make. I do this in life, as well. I guess I get distracted and I lose sight of where I was going. I chase the wrong things, thinking that I know best and that if I just take this little detour over here, I won’t get lost. I’ll eventually end up where I was supposed to be in the first place. But it never really works out like that. I just end up lost and then I have to back track. Twenty-eight days ago, I said I was done drinking soda. I haven’t had even a sip of Coke Zero or any soda for that matter, and let me tell ya, some days have been way harder than others. To lessen the temptation, I’ve had to make sure that I always have a healthier alternative when I start to crave a soda, and I’ve had to remove myself from any environment that would make it easy to give in to the cravings. Twenty-eight days later, the cravings are less and less because I’ve stayed totally focused on my goal of making it to at least 31 days and I’ve had a plan for when the going got tough. I am so proud of myself because I’ve never been able to give up any habit for more than a couple hours. The difference this time, though, is that I had a plan and I equipped myself with what I would need to really reach my goal. Had I not planned, it would’ve been like every other time. I would’ve started chasing those cravings and I would’ve found myself sipping on an ice cold Coke Zero with two shots of vanilla. I know there is more to life than what I’ve been chasing. What I’ve been running after has left me broken, empty, and disappointed, and most of all, it’s kept me from the full potential that I was created to reach. Digging deep and discovering those things isn’t always fun and really, it’s painful at times and hurts your pride. I don’t want to admit that my priorities have been all screwed up. BUT, the really cool thing about making this discovery, though, is that it doesn’t end there. You aren’t just left with a pile of hopelessness. You get another chance. You get the opportunity to make things different and to plan and to refocus your eyes and your heart on where they need to be. I’m like a horse, I guess. I need those blinders on my eyes so that my peripheral vision is completely blocked. In the past, I haven’t wanted to do any digging because I felt like if I faced the things in my life that needed addressed, that would be it. I’d just be sitting there with all this crap hanging off of me and who would want to ever be around someone with so much baggage. That’s not the case though. You dig it up, you throw it out. And you move forward. It’s not a part of you anymore.
This morning while I was putting mascara on, I had this thought, and I was just like, oh. Duh. I’ve had the mentality that if ____________ wasn’t “The One” for me, well then there was another MAN out there in the universe that would be better and he would complete me. Then this morning, I just looked at myself in the mirror and I said, “No, Rachel. YOU don’t need a MAN to complete you. You are made whole through the love of Christ, and that is enough.” I’m done chasing what I think is love and what will make me a complete person. I’m Rachel Brooke Cantwell and I am loved by my Creator and if I never hear another MAN say that he loves me again, that’s okay.