The way I see it “you get what you tolerate in life”.  I don’t think that’s fatalistic.  I think it’s factual.  We’d like to think we go for the gusto all the time but more often than not we let life roll onto us and we accept what comes our way. 

crowdFor some things that’s actually a smart life strategy.  We have to learn to accept what we cannot change.  I never made the NHL even though I dreamed one day i would.  Tipping the scales at 5 ft 8 in and weighing a svelte 150 lbs was definitely something that limited me.  And having less than incredible hockey skill was another limiting factor.  I was 14 and passed over in the local draft for the touring team and I realized, my dreams of NHLdom were over.  I had to accept that. 

But some things in life you can’t tolerate.  You have to stand up and declare it will be different in the future.  I have a friend who never attended university beyond high school.  The circumstances at that time didn’t lend themselves to going further in school.  But now, 15 years later, their job/career is stalled due to the lack of post secondary education.  I guess you have to tolerate that?  Or, you can start into night school and in the next 5 or 6 years you change that?   I have another friend who’s been told his heart is damaged by life issues, part of them because of his carrying an extra 100 lbs of weight for too long.  I guess you have to tolerate that?  Or, you can start changing your habits to exclude cheeseburgers and milkshakes for lunch. 

I work with churches and organizations helping them move towards progress and success.  Almost all of them want a greater degree of effectiveness for God’s sake but find themselves stuck with minimal fruitfulness and even times of barreness.  As you look at the life situations they are in, you begin to see a number of things that are unhelpful for sake of progress.  Sometimes it is behaviours that are counterproductive, people that are destructive, attitudes that are self defeating.  When I hear leaders say “but we are a church, what can we do, we have to accept these things?”  …I smile because honestly, you don’t get what you go for in life, “you get what you tolerate”.