Character = Aspirations

“Don’t Be In A Hurry. You Don’t Want Your Gifts To Take You Farther Than Your Character Can Sustain Them. When That Is The Case, Your Success Will Be Short Lived, It’s Unsustainable”

The above quote is from Mark Batterson, and it really resonated with me.

When we have a dream, when you have a place we want to arrive at, a position we want to reach, something we want to achieve, it’s easy, natural even, for us to get in a hurry. We are ready to be there, now.

It’s like starting a trip that you are really excited about. For the first few hours, we are laughing, having a good time, singing along to the playlist we made.


But even the anticipation of an exciting end, usually can’t sustain us for the duration. Before too long we turn grumpy, or tired, or tired and grumpy, and we are just ready to get there already.


We do the same things in our lives. At least I do. I’m ready to get there already, wherever there is. Whatever the plan is, whatever I’ve mapped out in my mind, whatever it is that I’m working diligently on, I’m ready to be there.


Can’t I just plop down in that place?


If that guy can do the job, I know I can. Let me get in there.


Just give me a shot at that, I know I can do it.


I’m sooo ready to be_______


But most likely, we aren’t ready. Not really.

You can’t sustain your success, you can’t stay in that place, you can’t keep the job, you can’t reach the place that you want to reach, without having something internally to draw from. Some sort of internal well of character that won’t run dry at the first sign of challenge. Something to sustain you on the inevitable long drive, when the playlist starts to repeat, and there is nothing to look at along the way except for trees and concrete.


So while we are in a hurry to get where we are going, which is different, at different times, for everyone. We need to pump the brakes. Because we don’t want to get where we are going before we are ready to get there.


And here is the cool thing. It isn’t about being ready based on your skill, or intelligence, or knowledge…For the most part. It’s generally about being ready internally. Skills and application are certainly important. But on more than one occasion, I have not been ready for a job I took, based on the paper measurement of my preparedness. But, at the risk of tooting my own horn, I worked extremely hard at the people side of things, and figured out the rest. And I was okay. If we are willing to work, we can figure most things out. That may mean that we have to learn new skills, get new certification, or spend time in the “trenches” learning the ins and outs of the job. But our capacity to learn new things is something that we usually overestimate, while the importance of having a preparedness of character is something that we usually underestimate.


“But I’m a good person, I’m ready…”


This isn’t what I mean. We aren’t going to reach perfection at some point and be ready for anything and everything.

And the fact that you haven’t been presented with that opportunity yet doesn’t mean you are a bad person.


But we need to recognize that we are constantly being refined. And while it may feel like sometimes God is withholding the things we want the most, the truth is, He is probably sharpening us so that we are ready when opportunity knocks.


Patience, humility,  wisdom, learning to extend grace and forgiveness, operating more and more out of a heart posture of love.These are things that we can’t necessarily master. There is always room for growth.


I don’t know what it is that God is sharpening you for, or how he is choosing to sharpen you. I don’t have any idea what he is sharpening me for, but I’m certain it is taking place. I can feel it. I can feel it down past my bones and into my soul. He is working on me. He is filling me up so at some point I can empty myself out for something that he has planned for me.


And you know, I’m not prancing around counting my blessings and writing new Psalms during the process. Maybe I should be, but generally it’s a difficult process.


But I know it has to happen. As much as I may be ready for whatever it is I think I’m ready for, I know that the resume being transcribed on my soul must overwhelm the one on paper before I am truly ready.


Think about all of the professional athletes that we see, on a regular basis, who can’t sustain their success after signing their first professional contract. Maybe they were pampered all through college, maybe nobody held them accountable, maybe they couldn’t resist the pull to party and chase women. They all have their “reasons” for not living up to the hype.

But the bottom line is, their soul didn’t match their skill. And because of that, they couldn’t sustain their success.


The waiting is tough. But keep at it. As a wise man once told me…


“Don’t let it whup you”  And when the time comes, you’ll be ready…Really.


Much Love,

Bryan

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