Excuses are handy little things aren’t they? They give us the way out. All the justification we need for dashed dreams and un-realized goals can be summed up in simple sentences like…”Well someday, but I just don’t have time.”…”I’d love to, but I don’t have the money.”…”I wish I could, but I’m not educated enough.”…”I want to, but I’m not talented enough.”…I could go on for a good while more with examples, I’m really quite skilled at the art of excuse making! You know what I realized about excuses? More often than I’d care to admit, my excuses are just sheer laziness wrapped up in a package of victimized self pity. I’m afraid there isn’t much very pretty about that! I don’t believe for a second that an all powerful God created me to be rendered helpless and useless by the slightest obstruction in my path. I also don’t think He is mean and sadistic for not removing the difficulty out of my way!
My 4 year old has a bike, and I want her to ride that thing with all the determination she has got. When she gets to a hill in the road, and energetically wails with 4 year old exasperation…am I really doing her a favor if I do the work for her? I want her to learn that if you just try a little harder you’ll get up that hill. And when she does make it, she is one happy girl and gloats for hours about how good she rode that bike…I sure don’t want to be the one to take that taste of victory from her! That victory gives her confidence, it let’s her feel proud of job well done.
Do you realize that every time we offer ourselves an excuse, we are stealing our own chance of victory away from ourselves? I totally get that things can be complicated, and sometimes seem down right impossible! My Algebra teacher in high school always used to tell us, “If you don’t know what to do, do do what you do know how to do!”. While I still don’t know much about Algebra, that advice sure stuck with me. It makes sense. I can’t see how some things are supposed to work out…but, I can do right now, all I can, with what I have, where I am. I can do what I do know how to do. When I’ve done that, usually the next step takes care of itself.
The greatest injustice I can do for myself is to accept an excuse. It hurts myself, and it hurts others. If I’m not being who I was meant to be, if I’m not doing what I was meant to do, than there is a gap in the lives of people around me that I was supposed to have been filling. Our families, and our society will suffer (and does!) from the effects of excuse making. The next time an excuse pops it’s ugly little self into my mind, the best thing I can do is take a step of action before it’s had time to root itself there permanently! Most times the best step we can take, is to talk to God about it. He has the unique position of seeing the whole picture, who better to ask for help and wisdom than Him?
Matthew 6:8 … for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.