Do you remember the scene in “Robin Hood” with Kevin Costner where Maid Marion stood next to Robin and as he pulled back his arrow in his bow, she blew in his ear which caused him to lose focus and shoot completely off target? No??!!! Where have you been? That was a movie worthy of watching at least 4 times. Well, maybe if you were 13 like I was. Anyway, I seem to be a bit like Robin…eye on the prize, sharp focus, practiced determination, pull and shoot, bulls eye! Not that I am saying I am successful all of the time at the things I’m aiming for (in fact, as you’ll find in this blog post and many coming, it’s been quite the opposite.) What I am saying is that I am a target setter, a goal setter, a driven and ambitious person with big dreams and big passion. I don’t like to miss so I try very hard in every effort I’ve got NOT to miss…unless I get distracted or thwarted.
For the last 8 months of my life, I am relating to Robin in this scene except the distraction isn’t as flirty as it is with Maid Marion. In fact, it’s been quite annoying and sometimes, downright frustrating! For the last year, every time I pull back my arrow to shoot, I get thrown off and miss the target. Some of the targets I had set up in my life had been something I was practicing and aiming for for years! I’m not talking 2 or 3 years, I’m talking 10 years! As you can imagine, to be thrown off course with no chance of getting back on in my own efforts is frustrating to say the least. To be honest, it’s brought me to tears in most cases and to my knees in many of them.
Why am I writing about defeat, missing targets, not reaching goals in a health blog of all places? Shouldn’t I be trying to help you reach your goals and telling you all of the success stories I know of to motivate and encourage you? I could. I have. But, I feel like I’ve learned something about myself and my life that is far more valuable than that information. There are a lot of people, trainers, life coaches, etc… out there with all of that encouraging info, but very few are willing to get real about defeat, get real about their battles and get real about life. Please don’t read that as criticism of any kind. It’s simply that my hope and truly my prayer is that this season of my life has not just been for me to gain a new perspective, but maybe the people around me so that a deeper level of encouragement can be gained.
Before this blog post becomes a novel, I want to start wrapping up this intro with a thought. For someone like me who was built to plan, wired to organize, and was threaded with ambition to find herself in a place of broken dreams, unfulfilled goals, missed targets and defeat causes me to feel a different sort of challenge. There is a time to hold fast to a goal, a purpose and a plan that is laid before us, to not quit, to fight the good fight. And then, there is a time to let go. A time to lay it down. A time to trust in the bigger plan. A time to shift gears and be willing to take a turn.
There is a difference between “holding fast” and “holding tight”. One of them has a determined purpose behind the persistence. The other of them has a stubborn fear of failure, loss of control or change that drives it. When you look at your life, your goals, your desires, your hopes, are you holding fast to what God has given you with determined purpose or are you holding tight strangled by fear? It takes a courageous person to be willing to look deep and take a look. I have come to realize in the last year that it’s taken more courage for me to let go than it ever did for me to hold on. Letting go is something I’ve had to learn to do in order to open up room to gain what was needed.
Do you have some expectations, some plans, a dream that you need to let go of so that you can gain the life that was intended for you? I wouldn’t be willing to do it unless I knew that God has a hope and a future in store for me, even if I don’t think the same way He does. I am learning as a wayward goal setter, that His ways are not my ways and my plans are not always His plans, but because of who He is, I can trust Him…despite my circumstances or how many arrows miss the target.