In life, everyone has their own way of doing things. We are all unique individuals created and designed to be singular organisms divinely connected by God. We all have been given a natural pace and way of doing things. In order to achieve our maximum level of greatness, we must start by embracing our natural rhythm and stop with comparing ourselves to other people.
For years, I’ve heard the saying,
“We all have the same 24 hours as Beyoncé.”
I have no clue who’s the originator of this moronic saying but I’m here to tell you that this is not the message you should live by. Don’t measure your level of achievement, accomplishment, or success by what another person has done. There’s only one Beyoncé just like there’s only one you. You have a unique set of skills just like everybody else. You do things at your own pace just as she does things at her own pace. Don’t put yourself down or be hard on yourself thinking that you have to be at the exact same level as someone else. Life is not a race, it’s a marathon. Each one of us has the potential to make it to our own set finish line but we all must learn to go at our own pace.
As children, we’ve heard the story about the tortoise and the hare (if not google it, it’s a great lesson about timing, ingenuity and determination). Just like the story, the tortoise eventually made it to the finish line. He didn’t run as fast as the hare; nonetheless, he finished the race. If something as slow as a tortoise can reach the finish line, you can achieve your goals if you go at your own pace.
You have to do what’s best for you. Just because someone else moves a certain way doesn’t mean you can move that exact same way. Just because someone else achieved something quicker than you, doesn’t mean they are better than you. It means they have a different pace than you have. So with this in mind, it seems the more befitting quote we should adapt in our lives is,
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~Lao Tzu
This saying is more reflective and realistic of our natural styles. Just like in the above story, we all have our own way of doing things; but we can each achieve the same end goal, if we go at our own pace. That is one of the many things which makes us unique!
In the Bible, we learn about unique people who have achieved extraordinary feats. While their successes are documented, so too are their struggles and failed attempts during their waiting period. In each story, while reading about all of their amazing individual accomplishments, we are also allotted specific information about timing. With each great person, God took time to develop them before allowing them to achieve their predestined level of success. Rome was not built in a day and neither is greatness!
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NLT)
It took Jesus 30 years before He was able to go out into the world and begin teaching and building His ministry. Even though this magnificent man was born as the Son of God, Savior and Redeemer, God still made Him wait 30 years until the time was right. In the book of Exodus, God chose Moses to save and guide his people out of captivity in Egypt. Yet even though he already had a predestined path laid out before him, God still did not release him to fulfill his destiny until he was almost 80 years old. That means for 40 years after he was banished from Egypt, Moses had to wait patiently before embracing his calling and embarking on his set path. Even when God created the Earth, it didn’t happen overnight. We see in Genesis, it took 7 days for him to create everything. He’s the all-powerful, almighty and omnipresent God, yet still He understood the dynamic power of timing. All things that are meant to be great and long lasting, need time to develop.
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 NLT)
The Bible is full of stories of great, successful people who didn’t manifest overnight. Again, let me repeat, SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DID NOT MANIFEST OVERNIGHT!!! Things take time. Although each individual in the Bible had greatness in them, they still needed time to develop, build and harvest the greatness. It’s during time of waiting when true development begins. During the time of waiting is when the groundwork is laid. Waiting isn’t always easy nor is it fun, but it’s a necessary tool we all must go through if we are to become the great men and women God created us to be.
“For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.”
(1 Corinthians 3:9-13 NLT)
No one can go right in and build a house if the foundation isn’t sturdy. You must first find the right land to build upon, then you may begin laying the groundwork for the foundation. Building a strong foundation allows for sturdiness during the stormy tests of time. If you don’t have a sturdy foundation, you won’t have anything to stand upon. So when the Big Bad Wolf comes by to huff and puff and blow your house down, it will blow right away and fall like the homes in The Three Little Pigs. Your life is just like that. If your foundation aka spiritual relationship with Christ isn’t right, then your life will fall a part from the attacks of the enemy (Satan) and everything you do will fail. Get your foundation in order and everything else will come into place.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
“And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 NLT)
God already knew how long it’ll take you to get things done long before you decided to do or achieve anything. He knew your plans before you even made them. Don’t forget, He designed you! You were created to achieve greatness but first you must go through some things. During your development time, there are lessons to be learned. The lessons build character, faith, endurance and a thick skin (aka your foundation). Just like you were meant to weather your storms in life, you were also meant to process things at your own pace. Embrace your way of doing things for it’s a part of your journey. We all learn differently. Whatever it is you’re working on or towards, focus on going at your own pace. It doesn’t matter if it’s:
- Turning your life over to Christ,
- Renewing your faith,
- Starting a business or a practice,
- Writing a book / script / play,
- Creating an album / invention,
- Developing an app,
- Designing architecture,
- Working out / eating healthy to lose weight or stay in shape,
- Starting / finishing a project,
Whatever stage you are at right now in your journey is okay. Don’t look at or try to emulate someone else’s pace. You’ll never make it to the finish line following behind someone else’s footsteps. You can never achieve or accomplish anything if you’re constantly worried about what someone else is doing. Whatever works for one may not work for the other. Sorry, but in this fashion, one size does not fit all!
So today I encourage you to focus on yourself and go at your own pace. Things will come together eventually and it will all work out the way God intended it to. Everything will fall into place at the right time. Spend this time of development building your foundation. You may not be where you want to be, but know that you are exactly where God wants you to be. Keep steady at your pace and you’ll reach the finish line.
““Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.””
(Matthew 7:24-27 NLT)
Sincerely with love,
Travel photography by IG users: @ronan_donovan via @natgeotravel