This is not simply the title to a hit song from Disney’s popular animated movie, Madagascar. This should be a rally cry in the Church. Jesus did not come just to establish an institution, but to lead a movement. This movement began in the book of Acts (aptly named). Moving typified the early disciples of Christ. It remains a seminal trait of His followers. To follow IS to move.
We are transitioning into the New Year with moving on our mind. We are on the move ourselves and seek to inspire as many as possible to be moving in the purpose of God. All of history has and continues to move toward fulfilling His purpose. We are reminded by Solomon, God’s purpose prevails (Pr.19:21). People who live purpose-filled lives are in motion.
One of the great inhibitors to movement is the state of being stuck. We have all been stuck at one point in our life. For some, it seems to be a perpetual state. Most of us who grew up or lived in the Northeast have, at some time, been stuck in the snow or ice with our vehicle. How frustrating it is to be spinning your wheels and going nowhere. There is a skill to get unstuck. Working those skills in real life isn’t much different. We can find ourselves stuck in a rut going nowhere. It doesn’t make a difference whether you got yourself in the rut or life just happened and you slid into it. What matters is what to do to get out.
So, if you’re stuck in the yuck, here’s how to escape.
- Take your attitude out of neutral. As long as I’m feeling sorry for myself, blaming others, or making excuses, I’m not going to move forward. I call that self-inflicted-paralysis. Advancing is first an attitude. If I’m stuck in one area, I look around for something else I can move forward. Give more; invest more in your marriage and friendships; devote more time to study and prayer… I can always advance on some front.
- Look for obstructions. If I’m stuck in the mud, there may be something hindering progress. It’s a good time for self-introspection and assessment. We should all have a good sense of self-awareness in our life. Once you identify the limitation, remove it and move on.
- Check your GPS. Movement takes me towards a destination. It’s easy to get stuck when I get off course. Being stuck offers me the chance to realign myself in the direction I need to go. Get back on the right road. Clear vision keeps me from skidding into another rut.
- Find traction. The reason I’m spinning my wheels is lack of traction – I need to get a grip. Ask yourself, What’s working in my life (ministry)? Where am I seeing fruit? The big idea here is to use those “wins” to create traction and momentum in other areas.
- Get help. It’s not unusual to find people rally to assist others who are spinning out on the snow and ice. Been there – done that! Others have resources I need: creative ideas, connections, muscle, a shovel. My way of escape from “stuck” may be as simple as asking for help.
- Shift to a lower gear. I probably won’t get unstuck when the tachometer is reading 150 RPMs. Lighten the load, simplify, start slow… to get unstuck is going to take some time. By the way… it may be necessary to put the vehicle in Reverse before you move forward. What does that mean to you?
- Move together, move slow, and keep on moving. I already know I’ll need some help to get moving again. Once everyone is pushing (or pulling) in the same direction and momentum is increasing, by all means, don’t hit the break! Go with it. Let the wind fill your sails, and go with the blow.
Remember, the reason to get unstuck is to move forward in the direction God has assigned for you. We wish everyone a new year of movement, progress and advance.