Why you should not focus on results

Have you ever been in a situation where you have given it your all and you have not produced a single result?  You decide to throw a block party and you tell all of your neighbors about it.  You buy food, decorations and set it all up.  You turn on the music.  The salsa, queso, and chip bowl is all sitting there on the table.  The punch bowl is on another table.

The music continues playing.  Cars drive by, but not into your driveway.  Hours go by.  Full of regret, you turn off the music and you start putting away all of the food.  The block party is a disaster.  Or was it?

You through all the trouble in creating a party that no one would attend.  You even invited everyone too!  But no results.  But did you really fail by having no one show up.  Can someone fail by having no results?

For me, the answer to that is no.  The reason is that while you didn’t have anyone show up, you did succeed at throwing that party.  Situations like this happen all the time in life.  You try to produce the intended result, and that result does not happen.  Does no results equal failure?  By no means!  Failure is only if you give up.  The problem with so many of us is that we’re too fixated on the results.  If we stop worrying about the results, we can begin to learn from situations where we have no results.

Jeremiah was a prophet that prophesied to the Isaraelites, but no one listened to him.  Talk about no results?  But was his focus on results?  Not at all!  Jeremiah did his job, even though there was no results.

Sometimes, we have situations where we do things and end up with little or no results.  You go for a fishing trip and catch no fish.  You go bowling and score a low game.  Or that presentation didn’t go as planned.  What really matters in these situations is that you did your job.  You fished.  You bowled.  You gave that presentation.  What can we learn from the results that we produce?  For some, it may be that we’re too fixated on results.  For others, it may be that results don’t matter.  Getting good results can feel good sometimes.  But what if we get bad results?

At the end of the day, all we can do is do our jobs.  To look in the mirror and say that we have tried.  The fact that we did something is a lot more meaningful than not doing that thing at all.  Results are great, but they are not things that we should get hung up on.

Do results matter?  What matters is that I did my job and gave it my 100% effort.

I’m not afraid

Are you?

When we think of fear, it usually has to do with the things that we are unable to control.  Things like the unknown.  Things that we may not have the courage to face.  Things that can very well have the potential to overwhelm us.

The pandemic happened around three and a half months ago, and I’m sure that most of you were afraid when that happened.  Who would not be?  All of us were encountering a situation that we were never in before.  A situation that had us fighting an invisible enemy that we knew nothing about: the novel coronavirus.

But looking at today, who is still afraid?  Paul says in 2 Timothy that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control” (2 Timothy 1:7)

I will be honest.  We are all living in different times.  Trying times that we are not used to at all.  But we all have a decision to make.  Do we give in to fear, or do we overcome it?

I have made my decision.  I’m not afraid.  I’m not afraid of anything that can cause disease.  I am not afraid of the present situation, or what can happen in the future.

Where does fear come from?  It comes from another invisible enemy that we can’t see.  The devil is the enemy that we can’t see, since he’s in the spiritual realm.  He uses lies and fear to control people and weaken them.

But fortunately, we have the LORD to help us in times of trouble.  When fear arises, God can bring an end to it.  He is bigger than our problems.  Bigger than any coronavirus and bigger than anything that can ever happen to us.

And for this reason, I am not afraid.  The only one that I fear is my God.  He provides me with all the courage I need to face any fear that comes along.

So fear, you are not welcome here.  You are a liar and a sworn enemy to peace.  I’m not afraid.

Are you?