In my 60 years unfortunately, I’ve met many a person who has never achieved their goals. Often these are goals they once said, God told me to do this. I’ve seen many workers move overseas with the purpose of doing business and/or planting a church only to return home having accomplished little. I have just finished a six week trip that took me to five continents and interacted with twelve B4T teams and roughly another dozen mission leaders. A number of people commented on their struggle to get things done. Over the years I have been watching, studying, and analyzing how it is that some people make it and others don’t.
Two of these past weeks I’ve had the privilege of traveling with my close friend Bill. We’ve been asking the Master and one another, Why don’t people succeed at what God has told them to do? We have discussed several possible reasons, but one I wish to highlight here, we believe some achieve their goals because they have an inner driven-ness.
The people Bill and I’ve been privileged to watch succeed tend to have two characteristics; intensity and an unwillingness to quit. Our former mentor Greg, used to call such people unstoppables. Those called by God are driven by God. They demand everything from themselves. They show up everyday, in fact, every moment. They set the bar high. They invite input from coaches, mentors – everyone; in their quest to grow and improve. Everything they do is done to the best of their ability.
I asked one B4T worker on the trip in his six years overseas why he hasn’t yet gotten his business nor his ministry to the place where he wanted it to be. His reply was, “It seems God wants me to be learning rather doing right now. Maybe you might say that learning was what I really wanted to do, more than achieve.”
There’s a lot of talk in the missions world about our plans. We have to stop telling people what we are going to do, what we have not yet accomplished, and tell them instead what we have accomplished. Only in this way can we be accountable for our actions. I am not accountable for achievements I have not yet reached, but I am what I have accomplished.
What steps are you going to take today to achieve?
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.