In early 2010, after a few menacing weeks in South Africa, I was inches away from throwing in the towel on my fledgling organization. There was just too much evil in the world; too many dark forces keeping the poor in poverty and the rest of us too concerned with ourselves to do anything about it.
What saved me were the words of a friend. “Don’t make a decision in the dark that was inspired in the light.”
While I believe God speaks to us in key moments, much of our success demands the ability to recall and remind ourselves of those moments when all hope feels lost. We can never allow a feeling that was stirred in a high hour to evaporate in times of despair.
I meet so many people at the beginning of their journey, who share stories of late night inspiration only to wake the next morning with their vision a distant memory. Scared, anxious, overwhelmed, and insecure, they face an ounce of resistance and stamp out the smoke before it has a chance to catch fire.
We stifle those sparks of genius when we fear that we alone must start the fire, when we think it’s all about us. But it’s not. It’s about God.
I laid agonizing in darkness on a hotel room floor in South Africa because I believed my vision was about me.
Now I know better.
There is great hope in realizing that your vision and passions have little to do with you. These are God’s visions and God’s passions, which He set in motion long ago, timed perfectly for you to step into at the right moment.
This is liberation.
There is liberation in understanding that you’re meant to do incomplete work. You cannot do everything. The foundations you lay will be shaky and need development. The seeds you plant will need more water than you’re able to provide. Your accomplishments will be multiplied by others far after you are gone. And that’s exactly the way it’s meant to be.
Your relative smallness next to God’s great vastness enables us to do something small and to do it very well. Your calling to the small things is the great invitation from the light that the darkness cannot overtake.
Remember, you are the worker, not the master builder. Your fumbling progress is a step along the way, leaving open the opportunity for God’s grace to show up and do the rest.