My homeowners association used the last few snow days to remind me that we pay them more than we should. Sometimes I would look out my windows to see snow plows arriving too late and accomplishing too little. Other times, though we were hours past the storm, they had yet to even arrive.
I often stared at the snow-covered landscape and dreaded digging out my car and maneuvering slick sidewalks and roads. I would stubbornly announce (to no one but me, myself, and I), “I’m not going out in that.”
However, my employer decided otherwise – repeatedly. And after shoveling myself out from a mountain of snow, I would slowly make my way out of my complex and turn out onto… a perfectly clear road.
Snow is not a novelty. I understand that highways and main thoroughfares are treated first, then secondary roads, and so forth. Like I said, I simply assumed my HOA would provide a better service. I did not expect such a drastic difference in the condition of the parking lot 100 feet from my front door and the street a quarter of a mile away.
However, the ineptness of my HOA reminded me of two valuable life lessons: 1) conditions are often not as bad as they initially appear, and 2) we can easily get stuck in the mess of our immediate surroundings and assume that the rest of the world is just as jacked up.
Looking out at a neighborhood covered in several inches of snow can make you feel defeated before you even begin. On several occasions I was tempted to take a day off from work simply because I didn’t feel up to the fight it would take to go in. However, once I escaped my community, the world became clearer, bigger, and full of opportunity. I felt silly for even considering staying home.
What dreams and goals seem nearly impossible from your current position? What is it about the conditions close to home that makes the challenge seem insurmountable? What if the majority of the struggle is within the first leg of your journey and the way was made clear after that? What if the most difficult part is digging yourself out of feelings of inadequacy, doubt, fear, and complacency so you can have a running start?
Sometimes we feel God pulling us in a direction outside of our comfort zones. We want to go, but all the things within our immediate view appear to be obstacles.
I’m convinced that most of of what holds us back is either within ourselves or in the habits, people, and things closest to us. Our success if often contingent upon our ability to disregard our limited view, and then to bulldoze through the things in our immediate vicinity that make it difficult to gain momentum. God has cleared the main roads and highways for our journeys, but He wants us to have the faith and the will to do our part in reaching them.
The world, your life, and the plans of God are so much bigger than parking lots and cul-de-sacs. There are roads to adventure, greatness, and destiny. The journey won’t necessarily be easy, but it is possible if you make the decision to dig yourself out of your mess in order to make an earnest attempt. God created a huge world that we are free to explore if only we will take the first step.
Think big, dream big. Dig up your buried potential, venture out.
SheryLeigh is a woman who loves God, words, and people. She is currently living and loving as an author, blogger, poet, and spoken word artist in the Washington, D.C., area.
A communicator by education and trade, SheryLeigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Howard University and a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University.