If You Ever Ask, “Shouldn’t I Be Farther Along by Now?”

I’m sitting in a coffee shop on a lovely morning. I open my laptop and immediately feel my heart rate speed up. The day has just begun and I already feel behind. I worry I’m not doing enough, fast enough, and that somehow I’m messing up God’s will for my life. Shouldn’t I be farther along by now?

It feels vulnerable to share that here, yet I have a feeling I might not be the only one who’s ever felt that way. If that sounds like you too, let’s take a breath and tell ourselves something new.

You’re where you’re supposed to be, doing what you’re supposed to do.

That is true no matter how much pressure from social media you feel. It’s true no matter what expectations have been placed on you. It’s true even if you’ve messed up, taken detours, doubted yourself and second-guessed your decisions a thousand times.

Let’s take a closer look at the story of the Apostle Paul in Scripture. He encounters Jesus on the road to Damascus, and surely he’s instantly launched into ministry. But instead Paul says, “After three years I went up to Jerusalem” and “Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem” (Galatians 1:18, 2:1).

It took Paul almost twenty more years to officially start his God-given mission, even though he was clearly called.

At age twelve, Mary and Joseph found Jesus, “in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers” (Luke 2:46-47).

It took Jesus almost twenty more years to officially start His God-given mission, even though He was clearly called.

Scholars estimate David was between ten and fifteen years old when the prophet Samuel said this shepherd boy would be the future leader of God’s people. “The Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; this is the one’” (1 Samuel 16:12). Yet David would not become king of Israel until age thirty.

It took David almost twenty more years to officially start his God-given mission, even though he was clearly called.

As humans, we’re so often in a hurry. We want to do things now. But the God we serve has limitless time. He is the crafter of eternity. He does not worry about being early or late. He is not confined by seconds or minutes, hours, or a lifetime.

Our great and tender God is not trying to force you to maximize your life. He is instead inviting you to intimacy with Him in every moment.

We can become obsessed with “wasting” time because we sense we have so little of it. Yet aren’t we part of eternity too? God knows what you’ll be doing a thousand years from now, a million, a trillion. Why should He be worried when you stop for five minutes to laugh with someone you love, to nap in the sun, to read a book or make soup?

God wasn’t concerned when the Savior of the world made a chair or a wooden spoon instead of preaching a sermon. He didn’t wring His hands when David wrote poetry in the wilderness. He didn’t tell the Apostle Paul to hustle when he still had healing to do from years of following a legalistic religious system.

Our great and tender God is not trying to force you to maximize your life. He is instead inviting you to intimacy with Him in every moment. His rhythm is one of love and grace at a pace that won’t destroy your soul. He’s not asking you to try harder or do more. He spoke the world into being—what trouble does He ever have with His to-do list?

You are not doing anything wrong if it seems like it is taking a long time to fully step into your calling even though you know what God wants you to do.

Jesus was perfect, and God’s plan for His life still did not move fast. David was chosen, and God’s will for him was still a long process not an instant event. Paul had a supernatural encounter that left him changed forever, and God’s ministry in his life still unfolded over decades not days.

God, from a human perspective, is often wildly inefficient. He cares more about eternity than efficiency. You can cast off the guilt you sometimes feel for not going far enough, fast enough. It is not from the Maker of your soul.

Breathe deep. Be where you are. Call it enough. It is an act of faith to trust you are where you are supposed to be today, doing what you are supposed to be doing.

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,

Holley

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