Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV)
A story is told of an African adolescent who decided to move to the big city. For days, he prepared for his long foot journey to the big city. He had dreams about the bright lights and the fast paced lie of the city. He looked forward to working and earning some money for himself. He bade farewell to his family, friends and neighbors.
He woke up before the crack of dawn. The young man put on his best clothes, packed some food for the road, and hugged his mother good bye. His mother said, “To get to the city, just head west following the direction of the light.” The city’s lights lit up the horizon from a distance. The young man started on his journey.
As the young man headed in the general direction of the city. His heart leapt as he realized the moment to be in the big city had come. Behind him, was all that was familiar to him. Ahead was all that was new, and exciting. Yes, he would miss his family. Yet, he was sure the city would bring benefits and joys that would far outweigh those of the little village behind. The young man’s heart was experiencing some buyer’s remorse. Had he made the right decision? Should he go back?
The darkness around him sent a shiver down his spine. The bushes on the edges of the dusty track of a road appeared to move as he passed them. Behind him, the horizon had a deep orange tinge, signaling the start of a new day. The air was crispy and cold. His skin, covered in goosebumps registered the chill. Ahead of him was a small creek, whose banks were lined by naturally manicured trees and bushes. The sound of the water flowing down the creek calmed his heart. The freshness of the water and the vegetation around it was soothing. He crossed the creek by stepping over some slippery rocks.
On the other side of the creek, dense fog set in. It hit him like a wall. Should he turn back or continue marching ahead. Although he could not see beyond his nose, he had come too far to turn back now. The excitement of what lay ahead spurred him on. Soon the fog cleared and he could see the lights of the city. He walked a little faster.
Down a valley and up a hill. More fog set in. Fatigue and a sense of discouragement set in. The fog reduced visibility to near zero. His mind seemed to get foggy, too. He could not see the city lights anymore. He stopped and wondered if he would make it. Is he on the right track? He took a few more steps, then the fog cleared. Now he could see the city again. Repeatedly, fog set in, and like clockwork, the fog disappeared.
The young man refused to let the temporary effects of the fog stop him from moving towards his destination. The darkness, cold, and the fog were merely obstacles to discourage him. He refused to let the challenges stand in his way. He refused to listen to the whispers to go back to the familiar. He refused to throw a pity party and wish he were with mommy. He knew the road to the destination would not be easy. To get to the destination, he had to keep moving.
- Have you allowed temporary distractions steal away your destiny?
- Have you let discouragement block you from achieving your goals?
- Do not give up.
- Do not give in.
- Do not throw in the towel.
- Stay on track.
- If you fall, rise and keep marching on.
- Some give up too early.
- Some give up when they are just about to reach their destiny. Hang on in there.
- The best is yet to come.
Your tomorrow will be better than your yesterday.