There’s a universal truth that goes something like this:
I’ll never reach my highest potential while clinging to second best.
This appears to be common sense. Yet in the actual ebb and flow of life, basic human nature tends to hold onto what’s good, even when the best still lies ahead. Often, not until tasting the regret of lost time and opportunity do you learn to prune more purposefully.
I’ve been pulling weeds from our stone patio. Actually, I’ve mostly pulled up flowers: chamomile, veronica, bachelor buttons, and campanula. I even pulled up a thriving aspen shoot. Beautiful, healthy plants that re-seeded themselves from nearby pots and beds. In all respects they were good.
But the patio is not a flowerbed.
I love moss and johnny jump ups peaking up through the cracks. I even water the moss to keep it vibrant when days get hot. But the larger plants hinder the purpose of the patio. They get in the way of furniture and movement. They cause the space to appear overgrown and unkept.
I admit, as someone who worked for years to train my green thumb, I cringe when I pull up these hardy flowers. But I’ve learned:
Removing today’s good makes room for tomorrow’s best.
Paul’s prayer in Philippians 1:9-10 should be at the top of every vision statement. His earnest desire for readers to grow in love, knowledge, and wisdom is for a specific purpose. The Amplified Bible puts it this way:
“So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences],
and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble].”
Think about Jesus. In the beginning He was with God. In the beginning, He was God. In this He was absolutely and perfectly complete and whole. How could it get any better? Yet He chose to be born upon this earth. To lay down His title and authority. To live wholly submitted to His Father. This did not rob Him, but prepared and enabled Him to joyfully fulfill an eternal destiny.
Philippians 2:5 implores us: “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
Step back and look at your garden:
- What good things stand in the way of you fulfilling your destiny?
- What are you allowing to take over and crowd out the best?
I’m not being dramatic to say that time and energy cannot be wasted on good things. We must live, move, and breathe with purpose. We must pursue the highest and best. How?
- Stop, listen, learn. Never stop cultivating your ear to hear God.
- Stand, walk, obey. Go forward with the words and courage He imparts.
- Live, love, laugh. Savor every step as His own.
- And always keep eternity in mind.
“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.” Philippians 1:9-10 NLT (emphasis mine)
What are ways you’ve learned to prune your life to find the doors to your destiny.