NASA has a new mission. The Mars rover above is scheduled to start its trip this year. How ironic the name of the rover is Perseverance. Likely because the trip, the terrain of Mars, the length of time it takes to control the rover and collect samples will be a multi year process. It is going to take a while. Everyone will have to stick with it through all kinds of challenges and hurdles for the mission to be a success. Not to mention, the rover can't break down.
Similar to you a your world. You are going to have to stick with it through all kinds of challenges and hurdles this year. We all have to continue moving forward. Like the rover, can't break down either!
There are lots of words for it....perseverance, endurance, tenacity even "grinding" used by athletes and high power executives.
You are more likely feeling ground down than being the one who is grinding right now.
School is back and for many families it is a good news bad news situation. The kids and family may do better with the in person school option. However, we get to change the way the house operates all over again! Yay sarcasm indicator should be going off.
It is even a bigger change if you are also teaching in person again.
I like what Levi Lusko said about 2020.
2020 is like we were told to run a marathon, and as we finished, someone handed us a bicycle, then when we finished the bike ride we were told to put on a swimsuit....It is a triathlon, and most of us are already exhausted from the run.
First I want to sincerely tell you, "You are doing well". No one knew what was coming this year and you have been adapting, changing, and struggling but you are still moving forward. It is ok to appreciate yourself for navigating a crazy time. You have encouraged me, just by handling your business you help the people around you realize it can be done.
Not to put any more pressure on you, but if you are a follower of Jesus, there is even more at stake. It looks like the world has lost their minds when it comes to so many issues. Which adds to the problems, but also gives us a window. When Christians loose their minds, people lose their faith. When Christians continue moving forward it gives people hope.
Here are 5 ways you can keep moving forward even if you are exhausted.
1) Make sure you can do today again tomorrow.
It is tempting when things are crazy to go at an extreme pace in the short term to fix it. Go ahead and run that marathon hard! We figure, I can max this out for a season until things calm down. But they haven't clamed down yet, and we don't know when things will calm down.
I wrote about this recently in "I Though This Would Be Over By Now"
I would love to tell you with kids going back to school things will be normal, or by January, or when there is a vaccine. Truth is, no matter what you believe about viruses, racial unrest, elections and whatever else 2020 holds, we don't know when things will calm down.
You can't live at an unsustainable physical or emotional pace. You need physical rest and you need soul rest. Think through your life and schedule, are you getting enough rest?
Taking some time off can be a help but it can never fix a broken schedule, especially emotionally. Make sure you are living at a sustainable pace if you want to keep moving forward. We have to continue.
2) Don't make it worse by quitting on a bad day
You know this but it is often repeated because we forget. Don't quit (work, parenting, taking care of yourself, investing in your marriage, being disciplined, worshipping etc.) because you had a bad day or bad experience.
When you are emotionally or physically drained DO NOT make big decisions. Step away for a minute, get some rest, get some perspective, talk to a friend. Many times quitting will just turn a bad situation into a horrible situation.
I see it happening. People are walking away from important relationships because of politics, fighting with their spouse instead of fighting for their marriage, walking away from churches because....to be honest many don't have a reason. Don't quit on things of crucial importance because of temporary troubles.
3) Cheer for your team
You want to know the best way to encourage yourself? Surprisingly, it comes by encouraging someone else.
Who is on your family/work/friend team? Make a point of cheering for them.
Do you notice one of them dragging a bit? Find a way to encourage them. Send a text, speak a compliment, or drop off a note card. Tell them you see them, you appreciate them and what you like about them.
Do you notice one of your team who is doing well? Cheer for them too, tell them how they inspire you, how watching them has helped you move forward.
Cheering for your team has an awesome side benefit...it increases your endurance.
4) Understand your resistance.
What is really working against you? I rode many miles on a bike this summer in the early mornings. Some days it was great and other days it felt like a slog.
The hard days were because of the resistance I felt. It could have been the wind, tires low on air or Brett low on energy but the bad days were often because of some kind of extra resistance.
When I started to ask myself what was making it hard it changed my rides. On the days it was windy, I reminded myself the wind will help me when I go the other direction. When the tire was flat I aired it up (duh). When Brett was flat, I either rested or told myself to tough it out and get going. It made the rides much better.
What is it that is causing you to feel like you are in a slog? Name it so you can address it. don't settle for the surface, find out why you feel like things are working against you and then give some thought to how you can deal with it.
Identifying your resistance takes away some of its strength.
5) Take a future backwards glance.
That may need a little explanation!
5 years from now in 2025, when you look back at 2020 what will you wish you would have done?
Just asking yourself this can often bring the clarity you need to see your situation in the right perspective. This year has been hard and things may stay tricky for a while. Getting some distance can give you insight.
The answer may be about a relationship, changing an attitude or taking on a project but the question is a great tool to help you continue moving forward with a meaningful purpose.
Here is the most important part of the future backwards glance. Once you answer the question....do it! This is regret proofing your future as well as giving yourself something meaningful to engage. Surviving is good, thriving is better.
You are doing well. Keep moving forward. As a follower of Jesus we know something about perseverance, enduring, grinding or whatever you want to call it. It builds character and character brings us to a place of hope.
A hope we are not ashamed of but rather one we celebrate because it helps us grasp God's great love for us. A love He shows in a practical way but pouring the Holy Spirit our into our hearts [Romans 5:3-5].
It means so much when you keep moving forward with Christ, keep going!