As I’ve looked back over the past 12 months I am amazed at what has transpired. In some ways it happened because I was intentional – yet none of it happened the way I imagined and the results were nothing like I would have predicted.
Such is the nature of life.
We can scheme and plot all we like. We can be as intentional as it’s possible to be.
But if we want to grow, we must also learn to surrender the outcome.
Much of the stress of our lives comes when we try to control the outcome,
but encounter resistance.
This is in no way to imply we shouldn’t be intentional about life. But we must accept from the beginning there will be disruptions, and the outcome will often be out of our control.
For example, in the past I’ve worked hard attempting to build a platform, then given up when I didn’t get immediate results. Worried too much about how many readers my posts were getting.
Attempting to control the outcome.
But through the ‘Tribe Writers’ course, I saw how I’d let success become an idol. Allowed statistics to become way too important.
And was reminded again, they aren’t why I write.
I write because God has called me to. And once I have done all I can, then the outcome is out of my control. (tweet that here) My job isn’t to decide or control the outcome. It never was.
It’s God’s job.
When I began the Tribe Writers course, I figured it would be a course helping me grow in the craft of writing and become more professional. But there were many outcomes from the course I didn’t anticipate.
One was ‘finding my voice’. A section of the course was devoted to this, and to be frank I was pretty cynical about it. I had no idea what my voice was, and no clue how to discover it.
So you can imagine how surprised I was a few weeks later when a friend – who didn’t know anything about the course – said to me quite spontaneously how I they thought I had ‘begun to discover my writing voice’ in recent weeks. (and they used the exact words).
I hadn’t noticed thus far. But once they called it out, I couldn’t deny it. And since, I’ve had more clarity and confidence about my writing voice than ever.
Doing ‘Tribe Writers’ was an attempt to be intentional about my writing. But the outcome was vastly different – but much better – than anything I could have planned for.
It is important to be intentional about life. It gives our lives momentum.
We gain focus and direction.
But just as important as being intentional, is surrendering the outcome.
If we are always trying to control the outcome of our lives, we are not trusting God.
God designed us to walk this journey of life alongside Him, not in front of Him. To be intentional, but at once, trusting Him with the outcome. Taking the initiative and stepping out in faith – but not trying to control where our journey goes.
Walking hand in hand with our creator. Not miles in front.
If you think you’re way ahead of God, chances are you’re miles behind him.
It’s not simple. I have found it very easy at times to drift back into taking control. All of us find it difficult to let go. But in my experience there’s always grace to pick us up.
Not one of us is perfect.
So in the coming year, let us come to a place where we can both be deliberate about life, but recognise the outcome is not ours to decide.
Let us learn to be intentional, but trust God with the outcome.
What you will find is you learn lessons you never thought you needed to.
You will grow in ways you never imagined.
Are you ready? Start today.
Do you often walk in front of God (or behind), instead of alongside Him?
What steps can you take today to learn to surrender the outcome?
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