This post is part of the Five Minute Friday link-up where we write what’s on our hearts in five minutes flat, unedited (hmmm…). The writing prompt this week is WILLING.
For the last few years my grandson, Timothy, has wanted a dog, but his parents knew he wasn’t ready for that responsibility. When asked if he was willing to clean up after the dog, he said yes. To keep toys and shoes put away so they would be lunch, he said yes. To feed, water and walk the dog, he said YES! Timothy was willing, but what did that mean? As a six-year-old, he believed he was willing but didn’t really comprehend what that meant. He would need a willingness to take whatever actions necessary to care for his dog. A willingness to intentionally follow through.
Timothy’s parents wisely waited for his willingness catch up to his awareness. They required consecutive good report cards, a clean room and other chores that required consistent action, at first without whining and eventually without prodding. That strategy helped Timothy develop a sense of self-discipline and responsibility. At the end of fifth grade Timothy, along with his brother and parents began the search until, at last, they found the perfect dog for their family.
According to Merriam-Webster one definition of follow through (no, not what we think of in sports) is to press on in an activity or process especially to a conclusion.
During that time of waiting, Timothy learned that follow through matters. He had to follow through in diligence, keeping up with his school work and chores to show his parents he wasn’t only willing but ready for the responsibility. From his parents, he learned how to make and keep a promise; how to follow through in love. They loved Timothy too much to just give him a dog when he first asked. When he was willing but not able to truly care for it. He learned that sometimes waiting is best and in that waiting time, he acquired new skills and grew into abilities he couldn’t have had when the desire for a dog was first planted. Timothy’s follow through gave him a love for that dog even before they first met.
Just as Timothy’s parents didn’t expect their six-year-old son to care for a dog on his own, God doesn’t expect us to do anything He hasn’t equipped for either. Sometimes we might be willing to do something big, like travel or buy a house, but we don’t have the income for the destination or neighborhood we really want. We may want that promotion at work but getting it too soon could be disastrous to our career. We might be willing but not yet able to follow through on our dream today, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen someday.
God wants us to have His best (John 15:7) but, even though we may be willing, sometimes we’re just not ready. First, learn what God’s plan is for you (Jerimiah 29:11). Spend time with Him (Psalms 62:1). Read your bible (Luke 4:4). Pray (Romans 12:12). When He makes it clear, then follow through in obedient expectation.
Once you understand God’s next steps for you, then it’s time to act. Don’t be afraid. You can’t go wrong in obedience to God. A dear friend and spiritual counselor told me that, even though he doesn’t get it right every time, when he believes the idea comes from God and it’s aligned with His word, he moves forward. My friend chooses to follow through in obedience.
Are you willing to do what it takes to learn what God has for you? Are you willing to wait for His best and do the work while you wait? BE willing and follow through!
Featured image credit: Braden Cullum-Upsplash