I was cycling the exact same route for several days in a row. However, the wind direction – and speed – changed each day. I went from having a tail wind on a stretch of road one day, to a head wind on the same section of road the next. I saw my average speed double with the wind behind me, and drop to half when it was against me. It was quite noticeable!
If we always help people with everything, they will struggle to learn how to do that for themselves. At the same time, we need to balance helping someone learn, with helping someone thrive. It takes time to let people learn, but it is so much rewarding for everybody when we let them – and resist that urge to just get the job done ourselves.
God wants us to do well. But that doesn’t mean a good job, with a nice house, 2.4 children, a new car every year and an amazing retirement plan. It may be that there is some comfort for you in your life! But that isn’t how God ever measures success in our lives, because God cares for our hearts far more than our physical comfort. And, to be honest, that physical comfort often gets in the way of our relying on Jesus anyway.
Do remember that, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!
So, take everything to the Lord in prayer – whether good or bad – to ensure you’re being pushed enough to encourage you, rather than make you lazy. And, to ensure that any headwinds are good for you, rather than those headwinds actually being God trying to gently dissuade you from a wrong path.
Just a thought...
So, another Andy B 2 Minute Video. And I'm out by the sea, my lovely little cycle route. And I was thinking about headwinds, and tailwinds. You can see it's windy, the cameras moving. And here's what was striking me.
Three days, I've been cycling the same route and the outward leg from my house. On the first day, there was a tiny bit of tailwind, pushed me along a little bit. The second day, there was loads of tailwind. I was doing nearly 30 miles an hour, 28 miles an hour is pretty quick by my standards. And then today, there was no wind behind me. Actually it was slightly ahead of me, I'm doing half the speed. 14 miles an hour I was averaging, and working really hard too.
And it got me thinking about the lives that we have, if you think about this purely psychologically for a minute, or whatever the right word is, if you are raised in a home with a mum and dad who are married, as a child, you are going to do better in life, because you've got a more stable platform. They can push you ahead. God's plan for that family model is important! But, if one of those parents leaves, either because they choose to, because perhaps of an affair, or even more tragically a death. it's not your fault, that you're not being raised with two parents. But, actually, all of a sudden, you're gonna struggle, if your mum and your dad are not there to help you. We need that balance and that's God's design. That's amazing.
But it struck me about tail winds. Sometimes with, perhaps, siblings, you might have observed this, our two older boys would frequently help Peter when he was very small. And we thought why isn't Peter able to grasp these basic concepts, like tying his shoes, or saying these particular words, and it's because his brothers would always help him. Which is really sweet and lovely. But, actually, as good as that was, it also slowed down his development.
Sometimes, things pushing along us aren't so good.
I had a friend who was pushed into a managerial position, and it was terrible. He was not ready for that! He had anxiety, and depression, and stress. He couldn't cope with that sort of stuff.
I've also seen people pushed into places of authority, which are really good and beneficial. I was, as a 15 year old boy, given the responsibility of leading a worship group in a very large, contemporary church. It was a good thing because God was with me, and I was helped, and encouraged, and protected, and supported and it made me who I am today. And I'm really glad that that Minister, back then, helped me in that way. There are gonna be things pushing us along. Some of those things can be great. Some of them, not so. So we need to be careful with that, and balance that with whether it's really beneficial. And that means a bit of Godly wisdom.
But headwinds is the other issue, there are things that are going to push us!
I remember being in a really terrible situation and a friend was speaking of Jo and I. And he said the thing is, if you're in a really bad situation, where people aren't encouraging you, and it's not a nurturing environment, you're only gonna be able to prosper so well, or do so well. And we were not doing very well.
And he said, look at what's against you in this situation. And it was so encouraging to think yeah, we're not failures, actually, the people around us are really horrible, and terrible management at a place that we were working. And that's why we were struggling! And it was real good wisdom.
So, things are gonna push us. Things are gonna push against us, and behind us. They're going to help us. They're gonna hinder us. But we need some wisdom to know what's the difference. So, don't worry if there's a headwind, just keep going.
I could have been really upset at doing 14 miles an hour, and sweating, and breathing heavily this morning, because I'm not going as fast as I was yesterday. But I'm still out on my bike. And I'm still going. Actually I'm going under my own steam! So I'm even more chuffed with myself this morning, because I'm actually doing a better job, because it's me making the progress and not being pushed along.
Being pushed is good. We need encouragement. We need to be helped. But, at the same time, it's good when you can do it on your own in God's strength.
Just a thought.
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Written by Andy B