Rip Van Winkle is a story by Washington Irving that was written in 1819. Rip Van Winkle went to sleep under an oak tree after a night of bowling and much drinking with a band of dwarves in the mountains. He awakens twenty years later – an old man – and discovers the world he once knew had drastically changed. He had slept through a revolution.
In seeking to remind his people of God’s love for them, Isaiah stirs the remnants, Awake, awake, clothe yourself in your strength. (Isaiah 52:1) Wake up to the possibilities!
God is moving in manifold ways, but many today are sleeping. Through attitudes about life, one becomes ‘drunk’ and, without even noticing it, fall into a lifetime of slumber.
Here are five signs that you are sleeping through your own revolution.
Scoffing at New Opportunities
Where most see obstacle, God sees opportunity. It takes the earth one full year to orbit the sun – and then it begins again. Along the way, it radiates warmth in one region and inspires growth in another; one thing grows while another prepares for a cycle of growth. Here’s the pivot: it is the same orbit filled with new possibilities. The same can be said of you at the cusp of this moment – if you approach it with an attitude of trust.
We put off our destiny, delaying it, as if our time on this planet is eternal. We delay lift-off. There is always the next second, the next minute, the next hour, the next day, the next week.
We have yet to learn the distinction between ‘doing’ it and putting ourselves into position to get it done. That means writing the outline for the book or drafting the business plan for an idea.
You Are Held in Check by your Closest Friends
The people closest to us are our single most significant source of failure or success. Why? Because our most intimate friends are the ‘chatter’ in our ears that sink into our spirit and our consciousness. Friends will either make you or break you; they can launch your dreams or keep you grounded indefinitely. We must choose wisely. Pray that God will show you the difference.
You Are Afraid of Deep Water
This is where our closest friends pop up in a negative way. They convince us that now is not the best time; that you should wait until market conditions are more favorable; that we should just play it cool and sit on the shore until our ship comes in. That’s ‘shallow water’ thinking; it means that we are either afraid of swimming or of wading into deep water – either way our dreams are done!
We Fear Success
It is not failure we fear – it is success. What if I fail? What if I fall on my face? The greater question, though, is what if you succeed? What if your idea takes off? Would you be any more afraid of success than you were of failure? Both success and failure have one thing in common: they are both impostors.
Wake up and live!
Practical Application: Reclaim a lost project. Or begin a new one. List one goal you set for yourself last year but did not get off the ground. Now list five action-steps you can take today to restart that goal.
Pastor W. Eric Croomes can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at Pastor W. Eric Croomes.