I often find myself trying rush into things. I come into something new, a new job, a new task, something, and I feel like I have to hit the ground running. When I’ve been on job interviews in the past, one of the things always asked for is needing someone to hit the ground running. When I make the decision to move into counseling and ministry, I felt like I had to consume as much as possible and get rolling as quickly as possible. Then I realized something this year, while out west, mastery of anything takes time. It’s going to take time to learn the best way to counsel and minister to people. I can’t just go right into it and know it all. When I started my current job 10 years ago, it’s taken time and trial and error to figure out what works best and the learning continues.
Morgan Snyder reminded me of this in his teachings when he quoted author Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell stated that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. 10,000 hours, that’s 416 days. Divided to 2.5 hours a day brings us to about 10 years. It’s a lot of time, but I’ve come to realize that anything we devote to will always take time to learn and master.
I’m not just talking about work skills. What I really wanted to focus on here is spiritual disciplines and practices in the faith. There are many that think, “I’m good…I was saved, baptized…I pray (occasionally)…I go to church on Sunday, etc.” The list can go on. But let’s think about real practice of a real and deep intimate relationship with the Father. It takes time. As I’ve come to learn, there is a way things work and the only way to grow is through learning to develop a life that gives time to Father. A.W. Tozer said, “The man who would know God, must give time to Him.”
Through Jesus, the Father desires to restore us to a life in Him. The way to life in Jesus is a vigorous journey and it’s one, if we truly want to come alive, requires our total attention. It’s never instantaneous, though. There are not any shortcuts through this journey.
For many years, I’ve lived a life of shortcuts. Trying to find the quickest way to get to where I needed, whether that was through schooling, in my work, and in my spiritual growth in the last few years. It’s taken a long time to learn that I have allow for time. It will truly take a decade of working, of trial and error, to fully build a life of real authentic disciplines that is fully invested in the Father day after day.
Don’t compromise a piece of the journey. Make the choice to fully invest in time grow into an exercise of real mastery, no matter what you invest into. Most importantly, choose to invest in a life of real mastery in your walk with God, day after day. I’m in the early parts of this journey. Come along. Think about your life and where your trying to take shortcuts. Ask the Father to reveal where you’ve taken shortcuts in your growth.
I’m so thankful that I’ve come across a ministry of men that has helped me to learn this and know that I need to begin to inventory my life and begin to develop real habits in the life I live with God, habits of self care, the way I care for and walk with my wife, the way I father my own children in leading them to the real Father, and in the investments I make others around me. In that order, by the way.
It all takes time. The journey can’t be rushed, and I’m so excited to see the fruit that comes from this decade. As Morgan Snyder reminded us at Become Good Soil, “Live in the day…Measure in the decade.”