I’ll bet you clicked on this post just because of the title! Tell me I’m wrong!
Nevertheless, you followed through! And here you are. So you might as well keep on reading, right!? I’ll make it short.
You can’t fix stupid.
Short enough? Yea, you’re right. I’ll need to add a bit more.
I’ve been told many times the importance of follow through. This comes in two different contexts.
First is follow through as in a golf swing. The second would be follow through on a task as in completing it. Both are important. And while they look different in context, the idea stays the same.
Finish what was started. Or what I have become fond of saying…Pursue to follow through. Catchy, isn’t it!? Made that one up myself!
Ok, so to explain the title…And yes it has everything to do with follow through.
Many years ago I took a few golf lessons. I needed some better instruction if I wanted to improve. I knew there were things I was doing wrong. So I sought someone I felt could give me good instruction.
I had improved after about two sessions. During the third session, the instructor was either having a bad day or getting really frustrated with me. He wasn’t happy with how I was finishing my swing. I must have hit 250 golf balls in an hour. You know how something fun can turn into ugly work?
This was it!
My arms were tired, my butt was swampy. I was hot, sweaty, thirsty, and hungry. Did I mention my butt was swampy?
I was done.
But he wasn’t. He simply got more frustrated with how I wasn’t following through on my swing. After what seemed like the 500th ball I hit that was not his way, he facepalmed and muttered…wait for it…
“You can’t fix stupid.”
The lesson ended. But I kept thinking about it.
The next day I went to the driving range, sans “Mr. You Cant Fix Stupid”. I bought only a single bucket of golf balls (because my stinkin’ arms were sore from the previous day) and picked up where I left off.
I was about halfway through that bucket and something just clicked — both in understanding what he was saying and what my body needed to do.
It resulted in an almost 300 yard straight shot.
Have you ever seen a grown man dance and squeal like happy baby? No? Good. Then no one was watching me!
I thought it was a fluke. So I tee’d up another ball. Same thing. I did this a couple more times with similar results.
I wanted to see if it was only tee shots. So I threw a couple balls in the grass and grabbed an iron.
Same thing. Only not almost 300 yards. Almost 200 yards with a four iron. And straight!
The difference? I was following through. The dude did know what he was talking about except stupid…You can fix stupid.
Because I just did it!!
It serves as a reminder still to this day just how important follow through is. It’s the same in every other aspect in life.
Take traditional archer for example.
My Dad taught me to shoot traditional archery. He never said you can’t fix stupid — just want to make that known! He was much more patient with me!
He taught me the importance of follow through when releasing the arrow. Not pulling through or letting the bow arm move would inevitably result in a stray arrow missing the mark and Dad and I looking for the stray arrow.
There’s a whole other post right there…maybe for another day!
You get the idea.
And it’s more than sports. We miss the mark when we don’t follow through. The results are lackluster.
But…Incredible happens when we pursue to follow through.
Incredible happens in our families when we pursue to follow through on the relationships that matter most. It’s never one big follow through, but all the little follow throughs that cumulatively create momentum and impact. It’s all those deposits along the way that we will look back on when we are 99 and not have any regrets.
Incredible happens in our professions when we pursue to follow through. It matters when we pursue to follow through in the moment we are in right now. It’s not waiting till we think we’ve arrived. It’s in the moment right in front of you, right now!
I remember delivering newspaper as a kid. I know…that’s showing my age. Again, my kids don’t really have an idea what a paper boy is. I had to explain it to them.
I worked hard. I went the extra step to follow through. Instead of rolling the papers and just tossing them, I would go to each door, open the screen door, and toss the paper between the two doors or into their front room.
Probably couldn’t do that today, but that’s how I rolled back then!
I didn’t think it was enough to just toss it. I wanted to follow through. And incredible happened! I got tips when collecting money. I received birthday cards with checks. And Christmas card with bonuses as well. All from my customers.
But most importantly — I built upon a strong work ethic started by my parents.
My point is that it doesn’t matter what you do. What matters is that you follow through…now, in the moment right in front of you. It’s the little moments that add up to make incredible happen!
Incredible happens in our relationship with God when we pursue to follow through. Waiting on God is hard. We want instant satisfaction. Think about today…I have a wealth of information right at my fingers, instantly. I can get lunch right now from several fast food diners, instantly. I can reach pretty much any of my contacts instantly with a text or cell call. I can order something on Amazon and it’s here in two days (sometimes less!)
We might feel satisfied initially, but we are only left just as empty as we were. It is only when we wait on God that we find true satisfaction. In fact, most times, it’s when we are waiting that provides the deepest satisfaction and is where God does some of His best work! And we can pursue to follow through and give God permission to work…while we wait. That is following through!
That is incredible!
But the exact opposite happens when we stop short.
Have you ever tried to short cut something? Driving maybe? Or in a task or job? My first round with drywall mud was one of these. I wanted the room done. And I didn’t want to wait. The results?
Horrible. Messy. And the wall is still there today. I see the humps and bumps in it. And I’ve left it there as a reminder to myself. When I cut corners I sell the results short. When I fail to follow through, the results are, well, messy.
I want God’s results in my life to be a whole lot more than just adequate or messy. I want them to be incredible! I can’t shortcut God’s work. It only leaves the end result something less than incredible.
I’m almost done with this post and I’ve not had a single piece of Scripture. And I’m ok with that. I have two verses that I’d like to take a look at and wrap this whole thing up.
It’s out of the Old Testament book of Lamentations. To set context, this was likely written by Jeremiah who lived during a pretty horrible time in Israel’s history. He’s witnessed the fall of Jerusalem and the people being captives at the hands of Babylon. Jeremiah is lamenting (crying out) over what he is witnessing. It would be an understatement to say that he feels broken inside. The beginning of chapter three sounds much like this.
But there’s a turning point at verse 20. And by verse 25 he seems renewed! We discover that he’s waiting on God. He’s pursuing follow through.
It’s almost like he’s a different Jeremiah than what was at the beginning of the chapter! Read it for yourself! Here, I’ll only focus on verses 25 and 26.
Lamentations 3:25–26 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
Jeremiah pursues follow through by waiting on God. And he gets a new lease on life — like a refreshing breath you’d feel if you were suffocating! He is a completely different guy! In his waiting he discovers purpose.
It’s good for him.
And it’s that word that I wanna look at. In Hebrew that word is tov. And if you look at those two verses in Hebrew (which reads right to left) the first word in both verses is not “The”. It’s not “Lord”. And it’s not “is”.
I don’t know much about what goes into translating, but I do know that this little fact enhances the reading of these two verses. What if we read it like this…
Good it is that one should wait…
I don’t doubt that God is good to those who wait for him. That makes us a recipient of God’s goodness. What if we took the action? What if we are supposed to take the action? Pursue to follow through by waiting on God’s work.
It gives us handles, something we can grab a hold of that isn’t abstract but applicable.
It allows us to see that it is an active, healthy way that we pursue to follow through as God does His best work in us…even while we wait. It’s good for us when we wait on God. Read it like exercising or eating healthy.
It is good for us when we exercise. It is good for us when we eat healthy. Those are actions we take that does something good in us.
The action we take to pursue to follow through with God is waiting. It’s not inaction. It’s satisfaction in our patient reaction to God while He does what He does best!
Making us more like Jesus.
This post has gotten long. And I could go on! Here’s the take home.
You can fix stupid. I’m proof of that.
I’ve not always lived like God wanted me to. And I’ve not been the best at follow through. I’ve cut corners professionally, relationally, and spiritually. And I’ve fallen short of incredible results.
But incredible happens every time I pursue to follow through. There is still hope for me yet!
And just like we can take a hold of our physical health knowing it is good for us to exercise, we can take a hold of our spiritual health knowing it is good for us to wait on God and pursue to follow through.
It takes practice. Just like my golf swing. But it can be done!
I don’t know what that looks like in your world right now. Here’s a challenge for today…Why not stop for a while and hang out with Jesus. Pursue Him. I’m sure He wants that more than you do. But you need it more than He does. And see just where you need to…
Pursue to follow through…