Week #1 – Motivation
Are you lacking motivation to do what God has called you to do? Are you looking for that motivation and waiting for it to come to you so that you can do what is on your heart or pursue that vision deep within your soul? Well, I’ve gotta a news for you, it ain’t comin!
My recent trip to Germany to work with refugees forced me to learn that motivation is nothing but a bogus, false psychological game our brain plays on us when it doesn’t want to do something we ought to do, and unfortunately we accept it as the truth or believe it to be a reality.
How many times have you said, I’ll do it when I can, when I have time, when I feel like it, when … when… when… How many of these decisions have been based on feelings, waiting until you feel like it or you feel motivated.
Well, my friend, I tell you, you’ll never feel like it or be motivated to do that which you ought to do. You’ve just got to get your butt out of your comfort zone and shake up your procrastinating mind and go and do it.
How many opportunities do we lose to accomplish a task at hand? Whether it is to start a new job, start our own business, write that article, post that blog, or accept that radio or TV appearance, or go to the gym to lose that weight or exercise for a healthier self, or start that new project, that book, or budget our finances, or finish unfinished projects, or clean that clutter, or go on the mission trip, start that ministry God has called us to do which has possibly been impressed on our hearts for months or years, or whatever there is that we need to do. We are just sitting and waiting for that “motivation” to come, but I tell you my friend, don’t wait! Because, it ain’t comin!
After recently being gone for three months to Germany working with refugees, and spending part of my spring and summer away from home, I did not “feel like” or was not “motivated” at all to come back to my mission field to continue my work for yet another three months. While I had the passion, I had no motivation. I simply did not want to leave home and my comfort zone again. I wanted to stay home; a place I love, with my wonderful family, a house I adore, a sister who lives near by, and Christian congregations I love to worship with. (Oh, and yes, let’s not forget Fr. Vazken and In His Shoes Ministry I just wanted to be in my own familiar comfortable place. While almost everyone, including me, thought that going to Germany and continuing my work was a great opportunity both spiritually and personally (after all what crazy woman would say no to Europe!), but I just wanted to stay home. I didn’t want to do the difficult thing because I simply didn’t feel like it. I used every excuse and logic on earth; wrote all types of pros and cons of going to Germany and staying home to justify my laziness and lack of motivation. Deviously, I told my husband Greg (and tried real hard to convince him…believe me!) that I’ll go next year when I am less tired or less stressed out. He didn’t buy my distorted reality. He knew I was giving him a bunch of nonsense and in fact what I was telling him was “I’ll go when I am more motivated or when I feel like i!” Thank God he didn’t buy my bogus excuses and rejected the notion of waiting till I feel like it. While I was angry with him to put so much pressure on me to go ahead with my decision and plan, and not to postpone my trip, I am grateful for his stubborn “holy” strength and will to overcome my “unholiness!” Greg’s got it and that’s why he’s so successful! He doesn’t wait to attend to a task when he feels like it or when he believes he’s motivated. He does it despite what he feels at the moment, or whether he feels like it or not. In fact, he doesn’t live by his feelings at all. He simply plans and follows his plans. He schedules his week, month, and year, and he sticks to his plans no matter what. We have a joke at home, heavens and earth can move but Greg’s plans won’t change. His got his eye on the goal! He remains committed to the task and commitments he has made to himself and to others. He registers everything in his calendar, updates it everyday, and spends at least an hour each Sunday to review and plan his week or weeks ahead based on his calendar and updated commitments. He feels empowered by writing his plans down and reviewing them everyday. It puts his goals right before his eyes, he sees them everyday, gives him an opportunity to think about them, plan them, believe them, receive them, and be reminded of his goals and commitments. Feelings become less and less important and begin losing their power over his inner-strength and the power of his will. His commitments become more important than feelings and the phony “M.”
Had I not forced myself to get up and leave home for Germany I would have never understood this bogus lie of motivation. Fr. Vazken and Susan were personal witnesses to my anxieties about this trip as they visited me the Tuesday before I left. They spent the entire evening encouraging me and praying over me. With much hesitation I received the commission as Fr. Vazken blessed me with oil and reminded me that this was God’s calling on my life and like most Biblical figures, I too, was the victim of human self, and I too had to simply say, ‘here I am Lord!’
I packed my bags and got ready for my trip with little or no motivation. On the day of my flight, both my son and my husband left the house for work early in the morning. Greg left home at 5:00 am, headed out to the airport for a business trip. Though he denies, I honestly believe that he had intentionally planned his business meeting on the day of my flight so that he did not have to deal with my confused feelings. He woke me up, said a quick goodbye and wished me a good time in Europe. My son left for work commending me to go, get the job done, and come home! I was left with our Dalmatian Lucy who looked at me confused as I pulled my suitcases to the front door. She could feel my sadness and hesitations, and was willing to give me the most beautiful, warm and loving hug I could have ever asked for. Bless the person who came up with the phrase, “Dogs are humans’ best friends.” It’s so true! She sat on the living room rug and watched me walk to the front door, staring at me, motionless. She too was telling me, go mom!
I walked out of the house to take the Uber with millions of emotions running through my blood. I was now left by myself to move forward toward my mission. It was now up to me to conquer my fears, anxieties, hesitations, and the big “M.” (I honestly believe my husband had commanded my entire family to be unavailable to me so that I had to go to the airport on my own. That military husband of mine!) But something happened as I took that first step out of that door, pulling my suitcases out, and walking toward the Uber car waiting for me down the driveway. I began feeling strength. Peace began falling on me. More peace and strength as I entered the Uber car. More as we left our driveway. More as we entered the freeway, and yes, you guessed it right, more and more as we proceeded further toward the airport. Strange, huh! Who would have thought obedience, determination, and taking that leap of faith could bring about so much peace! I not only had peace, but glimpses of joy began going through my veins. God surrounded me with much favor. I had an amazing Uber driver. The airline gave me an amazing seat with lots of leg room. They even checked in my carryon luggage for free, I ended up sitting next to the most amazing young woman who was so friendly and entertaining. We chatted for almost two hours as soon as we meet on the plane which helped me to overcome any possible anxieties left in my cells, and the middle seat was empty! So we had ample room to move around our seats. And, to my surprise, I slept almost the entire time on the plane. Honestly, I have no idea how! And before I knew it, I was in Germany, and was greeted by a nice officer who welcomed me to Germany as he stamped my passport.
“In His Shoes!” If we are indeed God’s children and believers in Christ, we have no other choice but to walk in His shoes — that is to be like Him — obedient despite how we feel. Fr. Vazken reminded me that Jesus Himself didn’t want to go to the Cross. He knew that the Cross was His mission and the vision of the Heavenly Father for humankind, but he too, as a human being felt the weakness of the soul and pleaded with God that may…be…He removes this burden from Him. Maybe God would change His mind and find another way for salvation of humanity. May…be… not such a painful death on the Cross. Maybe another venue?! After all, Jesus knew that His Heavenly Father was the Most Omnipotent, Omniscient, All-knowing and Wise God; Creator of Heavens and Earth, surely He could come up with another solution. But God rejected the notion of His Son’s weakness and submission to the fragility of human soul. Instead, He asked Him to proceed with the “Plan of Creation” and take that leap of faith, by taking up the Cross, and moving forward with the “Holy” plan.
Now, only three days into my ministry in Germany, my trip has been so fruitful that I have difficulty counting the blessings that God has brought into my life. On Saturday, I ministered at a city-wide event with nearly two thousand refugees present. On Sunday, I spent the day with almost two dozens pastors and bishops from all five continents. And, on Monday, I spent the day with a young Afghani family and ended the day with meeting with a German friend I had met in 2015 when I first began my refugee work.
I am grateful that God has used this missions trip to teach me the fallacy of motivation. There may be times and days that I may not feel like it or feel motivated about the task at hand, but I know that all God wants me to do is to take that first step; that first leap of faith. Once I submit myself to the will of the Holy Spirit, my entire being comes into alignment: spirit, soul and body. If we are indeed walking in His shoes, then motivation and feelings have no place in our lives. We’ve just gotta do it!
So, my friend, don’t let motivation rob you from what you’d like to do or what God has called you to do. Do it anyway and see how good it feels defeating this “fabricated M!” As Mel Robbins teaches in her “5 Seconds Rule,” count 5-4-3-2-1 and do it! Just take a deep breath and leap!
Bible Verses that will help you to overcome the big “M”:
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
I Corinthians 15:58
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
II Corinthians 12:9-10
and He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
The Word of the Week “Motivation”
- Word Origin & History
- Motivation 1873, from motivate. Psychological use, “inner or social stimulus for an action,” is from 1904.
- In order to understand the word Motivation and how it works or does not work we need to look at its synonyms and antonyms so that we can better understand how it applies to our lives.
- Some of the popular synonyms of “Motivation” are:
- — Desire, encouragement, inclination, interest
- — Impulse, action, disposition, impulsion, incitation, persuasion, predisposition, push, suggestion
- — Reason, wish, hunger, drive, kick, stimulus, get up and go!
- Some of the antonyms are:
- — Block, deterrent, discouragement, dislike, hate, hatred, hindrance
- The catalyst of motivation or that which incites activity includes:
- — Stimulus, incentive, impulse
- Causes for motivation include:
- — Aim, authorship, beginning, creation, causation, doership, determination, completion, foundation, genesis, groundbreaking, making, originating, producing, purpose for a cause, birthing
- At the heart of motivation is:
- — Passion, zeal, drive, urge, excitement, enthusiasm, incitement