Growing Up in a Microwaveable World

microwave

I want to change the world – today.
I want to be financially secure – yesterday.
I want to be in charge – RIGHT NOW.
I want to be the leader I imagine being in my mind NOW.

The microwave was invented in the early 20th century, patented for household use in 1945, and became a popular household item between 1970 and 1990. The point of a microwave? Cook things quicker, faster, sooner.

In many ways, the microwave is a reflection of how culture and generations have changed.

Ambition, innovation, and growth have long been desires of the human soul. Over time, we started to expect things quicker, faster, sooner.

The problem? Many of us aren’t ready for the kind of growth we expect microwaved for us.
Furthermore, we don’t always grasp the work required to achieve the results desired.

There are some things that can’t be microwaved.

Instead of microwaving growth, ambition, creativity, and leadership, we need to focus on a few principles that I have tried to apply to my own life:

1. Take small steps every single day.

In a microwaveable world, we want everything now. When we don’t get it? We give up.

Instead of wanting the whole thing now, focus on taking small steps every single day.

If you want to grow as a leader? Don’t set a goal to read a book this week or 20 books in a year. Focus on reading 5 minutes every single day.
Want to become financially secure? Don’t focus on the massive debt load, focus on paying 10 extra dollars a day to pay it down.
Want to change the world? Focus on the person or problem right in front of you right now.

Take small steps every single day. It’s amazing how those small steps add up.

2. Be faithful and engaged in the present.

This is one of the biblically true but underutilized principles out there.

So often, we question whether God TRULY has us in the right place, the right job, or the right situation. And sure, there are times where we might not be in the ideal place or situation and a change is required, but does that mean it isn’t “right?”

Furthermore, if we can’t be engaged and faithful in our present, why would God want to give us a better future?

It’s common to hear Christians say, “The best is yet to come.” Eternally, that’s certainly true. Circumstantially, that may or may not be true.

What I do believe to be true? If you are faithful and engaged in the present, honoring those who lead, the resources you’ve been given, the people God has called you to love, God will give you more.

The challenge for myself and every young(er) leader I know: Sometimes, a microwave is not possible. Let things cook. Slowly. Take small steps. Be faithful and engaged in the present.

Over time, you’ll become the kind of leader and person you dream of becoming.

It just make take some time.

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Who Are You Looking For?

John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” Matthew 11:2-3

I seem to have an insatiable desire to look for more.

Once I get that job…
If I only could make that much $$…
If I didn’t have so many…
Once I get my hands on…

John baptized Jesus, probably spent significant time with him, and even still, was wondering: Should I be looking for someone else, something more?

What’s the deal with that?

Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.’ Matthew 11:4-6

In other words, Jesus has done and is doing what he is going to do. We tend to want more. Remember, this inner desire is insatiable.

But here’s the interesting thing: The disciples, including John, stopped looking for more. They found all they could ever want and need to satisfy something that appeared insatiable.

Jesus.

This weekend, millions of people will be returning to church, attempting to ask the question: Is this the Messiah, the Savior, the One who will truly satisfy, or is there something more I should be looking for?

Our role as ministry leaders, church leaders, and Christ followers is to show them Jesus and say, this is enough.