Living as a Leader

Encouragement One Week into the New Year!

Every bit of gums needed to create this “masterpiece” that is Seattle’s gum wall! 

One week into the New Year I hope you haven’t walked away from your new year’s resolutions. If you have or are thinking about it consider this story I heard a number of years ago. I can’t remember the source but I do remember the story every time I’m ready to give up on a commitment or project I’ve undertaken. Maybe it too will give you encouragement to keep doing those things that at one time you thought were worth doing.

The pastor and his wife bought a home in the country with a large parcel of land. Very quickly he began a daily routine of taking a long walk around his property to enjoy the beauty of it. There was only one spot on the property that bothered him and it was in the far back corner, away from any road or access. It was a spot where a previous property owner had deposited a huge ball of rusting barbed wire from some old fences.

He hated because it was such an eye sore on what was otherwise such a beautiful walk. Yet he had no idea how to get rid of this big mess. He couldn’t justify paying someone to go back to the spot and dispose of it. Every day he walked by it and everyday he just he just fumed about the wire and his inability to do something about it.

Then one day it dawned on him, he would bring a pair of wire cutters on his daily walk, cut off a piece of the wire and take it back with him. Doing this bit everyday would at least make him feel like he was doing “something” about it. So the next day he took his cutters with him and snipped off a piece of wire and carried it back to his house and threw it away.

Now you know where this story is going right? After 3 months of his daily walks the barbed wire mess was gone. Now I’m sure he missed days here and there because of rain or when he was sick or a family or work obligation. But he stayed with it and in the end he finished off that tangle of barbed wire.

The moral of this story? When tackling a big project or a New Year’s resolution you need to take it a step and a day at a time. If you miss a day or two or more, just start cutting wire again today. No big deal. The point is don’t give up because one day you will come to the end of that tangle and you will be glad you stayed with it.

So if after one week of the New Year you are thinking “I can’t do this” grab a pair of wire cutters and set it on your dresser, near your favorite chair or next to your computer. Let it be a reminder not to give up. That doing a little everyday can make a big difference.

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