So often I have a vision to do something grand, but then one little thing will come up and cause me to say, "Oh, well, I guess it's too hard anyway, so I can't expect to do it."
Case in point: This week I'm teaching the preschool class at our church's VBS. The first night, I had all the kids get their picture taken, intending to decorate the outside of my door with each kid's picture taped to a train car (The "Sonlight Express" train is our theme).
The second night, I had a guitar lesson at 5:00, and VBS started at 6:00. I also had to get Mom to the church by 5, so we decided to leave the house at 4, and then I would have just enough time to get Mom to church 15 minutes early, and turn around and make it on time to my guitar lesson.
We left and made good time, so I decided we had time to stop at Wal-Mart before we got to the church to return some unopened packages of supplies we had left over. In the parking lot, as I was putting my keys in my purse, I noticed my camera.
"OH! I never got these pictures printed!" I thought to myself.
My instinct was to ditch the whole idea, say to myself, "Who cares if there's a door decoration or not? The kids will never know the difference. They won't miss it if it doesn't get done." The time was just too short. Maybe I could do it another day... but by then it would be so late in the week that it would seem pointless to do it at all. I might as well just give up on the whole plan.
But at that moment, something within me changed. Something within me said, "Why don't you rise up and conquer this obstacle and get this thing done like you planned to do? You can do it! There's still a chance!"
It was a fork in the road moment. It was over a small thing, but I felt that it symbolized all the similar situations I would ever face in the future. I could choose my normal reaction ("Oh well, it's too hard, might as well give up"), but in that moment, I was offered the opportunity to change to a new normal.
I took it.
Something in me rose up and said, "I won't take no for an answer. I will get this done." I charged into the store, marched back to the photo department, printed the photos on the instant machine, and had them in my hand in 5 minutes. Done!
My vision was going to get fulfilled, and I was still going to make it to my guitar lesson on time!
How much better it felt to actually accomplish something than to accept non-accomplishment and forgive myself "because I couldn't have expected to do it anyway."
There were several more obstacles in the way (My guitar lesson let out late, I had to make photocopies of the train page for the kids to color, I had to trim the photos down to the right size for them to fit in the "window" on the picture, I had to trim the colored pages down to the size of the train, and I had to tape the finished product on the door), but you know what? Someone was there to help with every single step. Mrs. Joyce made the photocopies for me, Mrs. Cox did the trimming on the paper cutter, and Ashton taped the finished train cars to the outside of the door.
What a little, tiny, insignificant-seeming triumph! (Whoopie-do! Me and a bunch of helpers succeeded in making a door decoration!)
But what a great step of advancement it represented for me. I learned to rise up and conquer in order to accomplish something, even when my way is fraught with obstacles.
I'm totally ready for this to be the new normal.