Prepared to conquer the day, or so I thought, I opened my door and stepped onto the porch. A giant cicada was laying there blocking my exit. Debating whether to close the door and leave through the garage or do something about the giant bug I hesitated. The bug didn’t move. Was it dead or waiting to attack me? It’s funny how day-detouring circumstances seem ready to stop us before we really get going. My children do not like bugs and neither do I. Instead of pretending this problem didn’t exist, I contemplated punting the bug into my grass and away from my front door. Just as the toe of my shoe was about to launch the bug, it turned over and flew away. I flew away too, on foot.
How many times have we allowed life to just happen around us while we lay there exhausted, overwhelmed, or apathetic?
Honestly, the pandemic has put a new type of pressure on us and our response can be related to our motivation. I have often found myself blaming the pandemic for places I have just been unmotivated or uninterested. Zig Ziglar once said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
I want to challenge anyone who feels stuck or unmotivated to consider these two questions:
What has siphoned your enthusiasm?
What are you doing to stay motivated?
We must meet each day with fresh motivation and remain conscious of our motivation’s root.
“So the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the enthusiasm of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God’s people. They began to work on the house of their God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies….” – Haggai 1:14
Sandwiched in the Old Testament is a two-chapter book full of promise and potential. In this book, we find a group of sluggish and slothful people that received a fresh kick of motivation. There are many things vying for your attention. We must be careful about where we expend our energy and what we allow to make withdrawals on our enthusiasm. What has siphoned your enthusiasm? When we are not careful about where we give our energy and enthusiasm, it will be exhausted when we need it the most. Place your enthusiasm into things that provide a reasonable return. Watch out for worry, anxiety, and people who ask for everything without regard. Life is less about what happened and more about how you respond.
Haggai 1:14 shows us that everyone is susceptible to loss of motivation. Whether you are the rookie on the team or the CEO in charge, the urge to quit is apparent. Quitting may end your pressure but more often than not it begins someone else’s pain. The people in the book of Haggai built great edifices for themselves while becoming selfish and unsatisfied’ in their endeavors. Their waning desire for God’s business prompted God, the one who gives us the ability to do all things, to kick them back in gear. I love how the scripture says that the Lord sparked their enthusiasm.
I challenge you to consider where did you motivation originate and why you cannot maintain your motivation. Could it be that your inspiration lacks the intensity to keep you going? We are called to work from our heart, for God, (Colossians 3:23) knowing that promotion comes from Him and not Man (Psalm 75:6-7). When God is our motivator and motivation we can move with certainty. People fail us, pages fall from self-help books, and technology can be inconsistent. Only God has remained the same both now and forever.
God so sparked the enthusiasm of the people Haggai spoke to that they threw off their sluggish ways, lost their fears of opponents, and discovered an awesome renewed passion for righteous productivity.
Here are three action items to help you when motivation is minimal.
- Revisit your why regularly. There is a reason you started – keep reminding yourself.
- Reach out to an accountability partner not an audience member. Maintain relationships that challenge you in addition to clapping for you.
- Revise your plan. Different results require different strategies.
I pray that this post kicks something loose and causes you to find the spark God gave you. You were not born to be average; you were called to be amazing! Scripture says God began a great work in you. Our Bible also teaches that greatness is in you, as the Holy Spirit indwells you. Tap in to His greatness. Stop lying there creating excuses for your inability to move. Shift your vocabulary to say what you can do and what you will do through His power and strength. There is not a better time than now to go for it. I challenge you to make movements not excuses!
William Cumby serves as youth pastor for The Fountain of Praise in Houston, TX. He is a graduate of the DEVOS urban leadership initiative and a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Oral Roberts University. William volunteers in multiple school districts, is a dad blogger, writing contributor for The Grow Curriculum and Youth Specialties, seminar teacher with UYWI, and a published author. During football season William serves as the varsity football chaplain for Thurgood Marshall High School as well as multiple other schools in FBISD. Because of his relentless taco addiction he is also a fitness fanatic and personal trainer. February 20, 2018, William was awarded his own day in the city of Houston, Texas. William and his wife Ebony have three children together.