I used to be a professional at making excuses.
I can’t go for a walk because I’m too fat. I can’t write a book because it’s just too much work. I can’t pursue relationships because I’ll fail. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.
Every year that went by without taking action, something in my heart died. The spark of hope disappeared from my eyes. Passion withered away. Hope was lost.
For every day that passed and I stayed in the same spot, every dream that filled my mind faded further into the background. My desires became a distant memory, replaced by despair.
But everything didn’t die. Somewhere inside there was a tiny part that still strived to do something with my life.
Eventually the excuses stopped working. I couldn’t use them as a way out anymore. I took the hard way around to get back to where my dreams once started.
I wound up in the hospital for three days, then got sent home barely able to hold me head up on my own. As I recovered, my choices were limited. My excuse of not being able to go for a walk was tossed out by a friend who gently, yet boldly recommended I get up and walk around the parking lot of my apartment complex.
So I did, reluctantly. That walked turned into another walk, which turned into a mile a day, then two miles a day, then a 5K, which eventually led to a 145 lb. weight loss.
Writing a book didn’t come about the way I planned. I took the long way there too. After spending one very long year in a discipleship program to work on healing from my depression, journal entries from that journey are now on the pages for others to read. I ran out of excuses there too.
My weight was an excuse not to pursue relationships with others. My shame was an excuse not to make eye contact with others. The walls built around my heart were an excuse to keep people from hugging me.
Then God got a hold of me and showed me what true love really meant. Because of that I can look people in the eyes, believe in the radiance God has poured out one me, and hug people free of shame.
It’s easy to claim that our excuses are just being realistic about things. But that in itself is an excuse. Excuses are easy. We don’t have to act. We don’t have to move beyond a dream. With excuses, we can sit on the couch and pretend we’re doing something.
With each excuse, with each day that passes without being active, our desires and dreams die.
But there is hope.
Ken Davis writes in his book, Fully Alive: Lighten Up and Live – A Journey that Will Change Your Life,
If you are still breathing, there are still embers burning in your soul. If you are a physical mess but want to change, there are still embers. If you face depression, there are still embers waiting to be fanned by a fresh breeze to a blazing fire. No matter how old you are, no matter your past circumstances or physical condition, you can live fully alive starting today.
Though my passions were dying and my spark was fading, there was still that small ember burning inside. I just needed a little help to flan the fame back up. I needed hope from others. I needed a push.
I had plenty of reasons to live fully alive, I just needed someone to remind me of that.
It’s not too late for you to go forward. It’s not too late to reignite the spark of your passions, no matter what they are.
Today is the day to start living fully alive. Are you ready?
Image by tuppus