Monday, July 25, 2016
My Motivation Is In The Lord
The world has been plunging into dark times once again, and evidently so. Worldwide, terrorism has been afflicting people all over Europe, the Middle East, and here on our own soil; employment rates are down; poverty rates are up: and all of these horrors stack atop our already hectic or grim personal predicaments. Readers here may already know the toll these circumstances take on us, from anxiety, to depression, to one toll which I have noticed more frequently as of recent, a complete lack of motivation.
A brief example, if I may: In my second semester of college, there was a student in one of my classes who had a dog back at home who helped with her anxiety and depression. While she was at school, life happened with her pet running amok, and her parents sadly called to say that the dog had disappeared in the midst of winter. Their neighborhood and friends searched high and low, struggling to find her precious friend, but came back empty handed. Despite those closest to her assuring that her pet would turn up soon, her light of hope was dramatically snuffed out. The world seemed to crumble about her during that time. She soon lost all motivation to complete assignments, barely wished to leave her room, and when she did, she rarely showed a genuine smile. Nothing about her emanated a desire to keep moving forward in life, and no amount of support could restore her motivation to keep searching for her pet. By God's grace, her clownish dog returned home just as mysteriously as he had disappeared the week before. It was a joyful time which brought the best out of her once again, even though she had been in such deep despair only a few days prior.
While I was overjoyed to hear her fluffy friend had returned, the whole situation disappoints me in this way: It seemed this classmate had completely given up her motivation for everything when being motivated was the most critical element of resolving her struggle. She is not an isolated case either. I see motivation lost when my brother sees another terrorist attack on the news, or when his spontaneous nose-bleeds never seem to end; I see motivation lost in special needs parents when their child has been hospitalized for the good part of a month; I see motivation lost in parents who just can't seem to pay the bills, or in college students who feel they will never receive enough financial aid to keep themselves out of debt. It is a strange and tragic turn of events, when those who feel hopeless succumb to their hurts instead of taking from the wellspring of hope which God has promised to us.
When we refuse to hope in God's plans for us, we choose to kick motivation to the curb and feel devastation over our circumstances. On the other side of that coin, however, isn't it hope in God which keeps us positive and more motivated to make right, through His power, the things in this life that have gone wrong? Though life may seem to be bleak, and the last thing we want to do is hope in something we feel so unsure about, God's word says to us:
"...hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love," (Romans 5:5, VOICE).
Placing our hope in this world leads to devastation. If we rest our hope in the government to resolve terror, we will be let down; if we give our hopes to the school system to fix a child's persistent behavioral problem, our hope will likely be lost; if we rely on the broken things of this world to resolve our troubles, will we lose our hope and lose our motivation to change our circumstances. Thankfully, God only asks that our hope rest in Him, and through Him, we will soon see brighter tomorrows.
Sure, our circumstances may not change overnight, but when we hope in Christ and His promises, we are guaranteed a perfect solution, whenever it may come. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,'" (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV), and when we hope in His perfect plans, we are granted the motivation to see a new day, to fight against our anxieties and troubles, and fight for the goodness of His grace, wherever our battle leads us to.
Pray: Lord, in the midst of all that is going wrong in my world, I ask that you remind me of the hope I have in You. Keep me motivated to continue in this life, knowing that the world's troubles do not surprise You, nor are these troubles too big for You to handle. You know every worry and grievance we harbor, so keep me strong and hopeful for the outcomes of your perfect plans. Amen.