One of the most frustrating things about the strange year that’s continuing to unfold before us is that we can’t make plans like we’re used to. Since the world is in limbo, it’s hard to orient ourselves, and as we approach the holiday season, it’s easy to feel a sense of sadness over how different things look compared to last year. However, now more than ever, it’s important to maintain a positive perspective and to remember than when you can’t plan, you can train. In fact, I think training is often overlooked in a society that values big accomplishments but doesn’t like to acknowledge the pain of getting there. Nevertheless, personal development is the prerequisite to anything praiseworthy. I can’t wake up one day and run a marathon; in order to cultivate enough endurance to finish the race, I need to train gradually and tackle a mile or two before adding more. In fact, this is true in nearly every area of life. While it’s tempting to focus on big dreams, the reality is that anything great starts small, and now is the perfect time to set attainable goals that empower you to slowly become the person today who you need to and want to be tomorrow. For instance, instead of losing heart because you can’t afford an advanced degree, take just one class. Or, find YouTube tutorials on a new skill you want to cultivate and watch a couple short videos every day. If you’re down on yourself because you’re not growing in your faith, don’t worry about reading two or three chapters of the Bible each morning, try reading just two or three verses. Any effort you commit to consistently, no matter how small, will yield progress in the long run and is far better than simply staying put!
My friend, the prize comes with persistence. Success in any endeavor is the sum of small efforts that are repeated day in and day out until they create something larger than themselves. In the same manner, becoming a disciple of your Savior happens through a series of seemingly insignificant daily choices that ultimately lead to abundant life. Salvation is not a guarantee of worldly greatness, but rather a promise of divine potential that gives you the power to walk the narrow road. With Jesus, you can move forward one step at a time and claim the assurance that in His strength, you are more than a conqueror. Run with endurance, don’t quit the race, and let Him use your life to manifest His presence and deliver hope to others who feel stuck in stale circumstances!