What’s Holding You Back?
One of my all-time favorite movies to watch during the winter months is Polar Express. As a young kid growing up, I would watch in awe as the steam locomotive called the “Polar Express” traveled to the North Pole; the festive music, the incredible imagery, the story of Billy—they all captivated me. But there’s one scene early on in the movie that always struck me.
At the beginning of the movie, Billy, the young boy who happens to be the main character, is faced with a pivotal decision. He is jolted awake in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve by a steam locomotive roaring through his front yard. He runs outside through the snow as the train comes to a stop and meets the conductor who asks him a simple question:
“Well, ya comin’?”
Billy, frozen in the moment, doesn’t quite know what to say or do. He stands in the snow looking back and forth from the massive steam locomotive to the conductor, saying nothing.
Every time I would watch this scene, I’d catch myself wanting to scream at Billy, “GET ON THE TRAIN!!! You have no idea what awesome things are waiting for you! Just GET ON THE TRAIN!!!”
In that moment, Billy had to decide to trust the conductor, get on the train, and then he would have the trip every young child would dream of—traveling to the North Pole to meet Santa!
We all know someone like Billy. In fact, we’ve all been in Billy’s shoes, are in them right now, or will be soon. No, you’re not about to be whisked away to the North Pole to meet Santa, but all of us are faced with pivotal decisions. Decisions where we have to blindly trust God.
It’s as if God comes up to us, and instead of revealing His 10-year plan for us, just asks, “Well, ya comin’?”
My heart breaks to see so many of my generation look at God in disbelief, try to peer out into the future to see where He might be leading, and, when they can’t see much clearly, take a step back and shake their head “no.”
So I have to ask:
What’s holding us back? What’s making it so hard for us to say “yes” to God?
What is most likely to get you off track in your walk with God? Your distractions are different from mine, and frankly, Satan doesn’t care what the distraction is as long as it stops your walk with God. Distractions don’t even have to be outright sinful! It could be as innocent as a hobby that begins to take too much time or as serious as an addiction that completely derails you. You can’t follow God into your future if you’re not even walking with Him!
If we’re not careful, we tend to let our desires get the most of us. What do you long for? What do you have to have? Be careful. God has given us desire; desire is not inherently unhealthy. However, desire is to life what salt is to food. When we go overboard, the entire meal is ruined. Don’t allow selfish desires to stop you from following God. Let knowing God and walking with Him be your foremost desire; He will then give us the desires of our heart as we follow Him.
We live in a day where it seems everyone wants to minimize risk, and rightfully so. I don’t want to move forward with anything that has the potential for disaster! Many times, we look at the future with fear about the potential risks and we allow the “what if’s” to paralyze us with indecision. As a child of God, remind yourself that there is absolutely no risk with God! As a loving Father, He wants only what is best for you and promises to lead, guide, and direct every step of the way. Just trust Him.
All of us have experienced pain, and we can’t help but wince when thinking of the pain the future has. Hurt is real; we’ve all been there and we will all be there again. But never forget that with God, pain always has a purpose. God will always use our pain to grow us, teach us, and shape us into the person we need to be. Allowing bitterness over past hurt to hold you back from God’s plan for you will devastate you. Choose to forgive. Choose to follow God through the pain. Choose the healing that only He can give.
I don’t know where you struggle. I don’t know where you fit in these four, but I do know that you have a decision to make. Will you follow God? Will you trust Him?
Just like Billy in the Polar Express, we don’t know everything that’s waiting for us if we’ll just say, “yes.” Let me encourage you: any time God asks, just take His hand, and start walking.
Well, ya comin’?