Several years ago our family drove to Michigan to visit relatives, then went on into Canada to see Niagara Falls. When we came to the border from Canada into the United States we had to stop and talk to a border guard. He asked us three questions: “Where are you coming from?” “How long have you been there? “ and “Where are you going?”
The truth is, those are pretty good questions to ask yourself, especially if you are dissatisfied with where you are in life and want to make some changes. Too often we decide to make changes and so we jump right in and start heading in a direction without really taking the time to analyze where we are starting from. That first question, “Where are you coming from?” is an important one. One of the most important things anyone can do in life is to affirm reality. Unless we have and accurate assessment of our strengths, weaknesses, and resources, we may run into problems we hadn’t counted on. It’s easy to get sidetracked or even derailed when that happens. So first, get an accurate picture of where you are now.
The second question, “How long have you been there?” is a good one to consider too. We all have things we need to do, but for some reason we keep putting them off. Too often we intend to do it “someday.” Someday we’ll lose that weight, start that savings account, write that letter, tell that person about the Lord… On and on the list goes. We may even have faith that someday we’ll do it. But you see, faith alone isn’t enough. You need to take action. James said that faith without works is dead. (James 2:20) Another way of saying that is “Faith without action serves no useful purpose.” Unless we put action to our faith we are fooling ourselves. Here’s a reality for you to affirm—unless you take action, everything’s going to stay pretty much the same for you in the future. What’s stopping you from taking action today? Be brutally honest with yourself. How long have you been there?
Where are you going? The reality is that most people don’t have clearly defined goals in life. Research shows that those who have specific, written goals and a plan of action usually achieve what they set out to do. Many people don’t really know where they want to go; they just know they don’t like it where they are. So they sit and complain about how things are, but never take responsibility and act because they don’t know what it is they really want. You will never leave where you are until you decide where you would rather be.
Life is about progress and growth. If you want to grow and expand your world you’ll have to get past the borders of your present limits. You probably won’t be able to cross those borders until you answer those three questions. Once you really know the answers to those questions, you can actually live life without borders. What an exciting way to live! Where are you coming from? How long have you been there? Where are you going?