The Power of Now
By Terri Savelle Foy
What is your dream in life?
I meet so many people as I travel across the world teaching God’s Word who are not one step closer to their dreams than they were 5 years ago. Many have even abandoned their dreams because it seemed too impossible.
I don’t want that to be the case for you. Why? Because I believe the dreams in your heart are God-given and are a part of His calling on your life.
If you’ve heard me teach much, you know my life is drastically different today than it was 10 years ago. God has taken me from just existing year after year to living a life of purpose as I actively pursue my destiny. However, I have discovered that it’s not always easy or convenient. In fact it can be downright hard to pursue your dreams! The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 5:3, “A dream comes about with much business and painful effort.”
I want to share with you what I’ve learned about pursuing your dreams…
…and I know it will help you today. I believe we tend to get a “tomorrow” mentality about life, about our dreams and goals. We keep thinking the future is so far off. We make ourselves feel better when we say, “Someday…I’m going to do that. Someday I’m going to get my act together and live for God. Someday when I make enough money, then I’m really going to spend more time with my kids. Someday when my schedule slows down, I’m going to get involved at church. Someday when I have more time, then I’ll focus on being in better shape.”
I want you to realize that every day matters. Every day that you wake up and go through your day is very important and significant. Why? Because your time here on earth is limited.
Psalm 90:12 (TLB) says, “Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.”
Consider how your view of each day would change if you found out you had just 30 days to live? If your remaining time on earth was only a calendar page away, what would you do differently?
Look at what 2 Corinthians 6:1 (MSG) says, “…we beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us.” Don’t squander your time because your time is your life. If you waste your time, you waste your life. Pope Paul VI said, “Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it, I say! Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”
I feel like my assignment is to motivate you and others to pursue the vision, the dreams, and the goals that God has put in your heart…and to show you how! I want you to determine that this is your time to experience change in your life. You will NEVER have “more time”. Someday is not a day of the week. We have to make ourselves wake up and realize THIS IS LIFE. There was a time in my life when I just existed as I constantly put-off the things that should have been important to me. As I became more serious in living my life in a way that pleased God, I decided that I was going to live a regret-free life. It was during this time that God led me into a study on how to conquer procrastination and stop putting things off until tomorrow. The principles I have learned changed my life, and I know they can change yours too.
Jimmy Lyons says, “tomorrow is the only day of the year that appeals to a lazy man.” Procrastination is “The act of putting off or delaying an action to a later time; to put off intentionally or habitually”. You could be procrastinating on things that are really important to you because you have unclear goals and priorities. For example, if you’re unclear on how much money you want to save this year, it’s doubtful that you will save anything. Even though saving money is important to you, you will put it off another year. If you keep that up for the next 5 years, what will you have? Nothing. You’ll only be five years older. You may have a psychological reason for delaying your dreams such as a need for perfection. Your thinking is, “If I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all.”
Procrastination is a TRAP of the devil! You don’t have another week, month, or year to waste!
In John 5:3-9, we see the story of the man who was lying by the pool of Bethesda. Here a great number of disabled people used to lay – the blind, the lame, and the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one…to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your sleeping pad and walk.” At once, the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked!
Why would Jesus need to ask if he wanted to get well? Because NOTHING had CHANGED in 38 YEARS! When Jesus asked, “Do you want to get well?” Instead of answering with self-pity, “Nobody will help me,” he should have just said “YES! NOW!”
I think it’s interesting how Jesus gave him 3 commands:
1. Get up
2. Pick up your bed (or clean up that mess you’ve been laying in for 38 years!)
3. Walk (get moving with the plan of God for your life)
What is God telling you to do?
Get up, pick up your music, and sing; get up, pick up your Bible, and preach; get up, pick up your wallet and give; get up, pick up your resume, and get that job; get up, pick up your bottom and get to the gym!
In other words, quit talking about the problem. Quit waiting for somebody to encourage you. Quit waiting for somebody to outline your plan. Quit waiting for one day. That day is today.
YOU pick yourself up!
YOU clean up your mess!
YOU start putting one foot in front of the other and get moving!
Speaking from experience, you can’t wait around for anybody ELSE TO BELIEVE IN YOU AND YOUR DREAMS. You are going to answer for your life before God – not anybody else’s life!
It’s been said that the way you do anything is the way you do everything.
Do you pay your bills late? (and end up paying unnecessary late fees)
Do you arrive late? (and have to apologize to everyone)
Do you wake up late? (and start your day feeling rushed, anxious)
Do you return things after the due date? (and end up wasting money)
Do you file your taxes late? (and have to pay penalties)
When we start a habit of procrastinating in the little things, it can trickle into the big things of life. If we tend to put things off to the last minute in our daily life – we could be PUTTING OFF the plan of God for our lives too!
I want to give you a “Do It Now” challenge for the next 30 days that will move you towards your dreams and goals.
#1. Make a list of the top 10 things you’ve been putting off. It could be anything from getting a health check-up, going to the dentist, getting the oil changed in your car, calling a friend, replacing a broken doorknob, filing your bills, cleaning out a junky closet, finishing a manuscript, etc.
#2. Designate specific days on your calendar (over the next 30 days) to begin working on each one. They don’t all have to be done in a day – just schedule a day and time to begin completing each task.
#3. Go through your list one by one.
#4. Share your progress and feelings with me at www.terri.com/about/contact-us.
You will feel exhilarated and it will build your confidence as you begin pursuing your goals. As you conquer procrastination in the seemingly small areas, it will actually prepare you to begin going after the big dreams for your life. Lord Acton said, “A wise person does at once, what a fool does at last. Both do the same thing; only at different times.”
I know first-hand the frustration and emptiness of living a life of procrastination. I also know the freedom and joy that comes from living a proactive, purpose-filled life. I want you to experience that same freedom and joy in your life.
It’s not always easy, but I’m praying that you will have the inner strength to take the steps to take the “Do It Now” challenge and conquer procrastination today! Refuse to allow another month, week or even a day go by without doing something to go after your dreams and goals. James 2:17 tells us that “faith without corresponding action is dead.” Make up your mind that NOW is the time for you to DO those things you’ve been putting off. Refuse to put it off any longer…no matter how difficult or uncomfortable it feels. You can do whatever God is telling you to do. Whether it’s to get your house clean and orderly, get your body in shape, get out of debt or draw closer to God – do it now.
I believe that we get so overwhelmed by setting unrealistic goals for ourselves and then we just end up quitting altogether. Don’t quit. As Martin Luther King Jr said, “Don’t look at the whole staircase, just focus on the first step.”
What can you do today – even if it’s 5 minutes – that would benefit you tomorrow? Do that. Pray in the spirit. Read a Proverb. Jump rope. Empty the trash. Do something each day that will lead you to the fulfillment of your goals. I want to challenge you to set a goal to build your faith DAILY. Build your faith while getting ready each day, driving, cooking, doing laundry, waiting to pick your child up from school, taking a bath, going for a walk, while you’re on the elliptical machine. You have time.
Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
I’m telling you from experience, your life will DRASTICALLY change…YOU will drastically change in just 1 month by developing this daily discipline. You’ll begin thinking differently, your confidence will improve, your faith in God will grow, your dreams will enlarge, and your mind will be transformed!
Refuse to waste another day. This is your time to see those dreams come to life.
Start building your faith today to dream for the seemingly impossible and start taking steps each day to make that dream a reality!
Follow Terri on Instagram @terrisavellefoy and Facebook!
For years, Terri Savelle Foy’s life was average. She had no dreams to pursue. Each passing day was just a repeat of the day before. Finally, with a marriage in trouble and her life falling apart, Terri made a change. She began to pursue God like never before, develop a new routine and discovered the power of having a dream and purpose.
As Terri started to recognize her own dreams and goals, she simply wrote them down and reviewed them consistently. This written vision became a roadmap to drive her life. As a result, those dreams are now a reality.
Terri has become the CEO of an international Christian ministry. She is an author, a conference speaker, and a success coach to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Her best-selling books Make Your Dreams Bigger than Your Memories, and Imagine Big have helped people discover how to overcome the hurts of the past and see the possibilities of a limitless future. Her weekly podcast is a lifeline of hope and inspiration to people around the world.
Terri Savelle Foy is a cheerleader of dreams and is convinced that “if you can dream it, God can do it.” She is known across the globe as a world-class motivator of hope and success through her transparent and humorous teaching style. Terri’s unique ability to communicate success strategies in a simple and practical way has awakened the dreams of the young and old alike.
Terri shares from personal experience the biblical concepts of using the gift of the imagination to reach full potential in Jesus Christ. From stay-at-home moms to business executives, Terri consistently inspires others to go after their dreams. With step-by-step instruction and the inspiration to follow through, people are fueled with the passion to complete their life assignment down to the last detail (see John 17:4).
Terri and her husband, Rodney Foy, have been married since 1991, and are the parents of a beautiful redheaded daughter, Kassidi Cherie. They live near Dallas, Texas. For more information about Terri, go to www.terri.com.