When we decided to move from Ohio to Texas, we knew it was going to be a big move, and require a lot of planning and changes.
We were entering a new phase of our lives: trading in suburbia for a farm, leaving behind bitter winter days for blistering hot summer days, goody-bye Skyline chili – hello Whataburger, changing our greeting from “Hey, you guys!” to “Hey, y’all!” But what we didn’t think about was if this move was “too far.”
Wow – That’s Really Far
We consistently received the same response from every individual when we told them we were moving to Texas: “Wow, Texas – that’s really far!” Time and time again, the response was almost verbatim, it didn’t matter who we were talking to – friends, family members, the teller at the bank, the vet, garage sale patrons. They’d get a thoughtful, faraway look in their eyes (pun intended) and they would say, “Wow, Texas – that’s really far.”
Is It Really Far?
How far is Austin, Texas from Cincinnati, really? It’s about 1,200 miles. You can drive it in 16 hours and a direct flight takes about 2.5 hours.
I have pondered why that was the standard response from almost everyone when they heard we were moving to Texas. It started me thinking “How far is too far?” If we moved to say, Louisville, Kentucky, would that have been just right? What about Florida? Many Ohioans relocate to Florida and some even have winter homes and live in both states, yet most people don’t say that when an Ohioan moves to Florida.
Well, I think the “too far” is less about distance and more about a mindset. Texas is still an enigma to most who have never lived there.
And, as Texans will tell you: you’re not southern – you are Texan. It still carries a mystique that sets it apart. Some joke that before your state was a state it was just land, but before Texas was a state it was its own country.
A common phrase I heard when we introduced ourselves to folks in Texas was, “Well, you weren’t born here but you got here as fast as you could!” So, yes, Texas in many ways is “far.”
Far is Only Far in Your Beliefs
Think about this: moving from Cincinnati to Louisville, Kentucky would have been the same process as moving from Cincinnati to Austin. We had to sell our house, find a new one, find a new bank, dentist, vet, hairdresser. Meet new people, find a new church, change our driver’s license, learn the lay of the land, figure out where to shop and eat. It really didn’t’ matter that Texas was geographically a bit farther, we had to go through the same motions to make the move.
Do you limit yourself in your beliefs? Do you have a mindset of “that’s too far – don’t get carried away now!”? Is reaching for a close dream okay but when stretching for something that seems much farther away do you back down, talk yourself out of it or give up? I know I have many times!
It seems that we tend to be the same way in our beliefs and our dreams or goal setting. Sure, we dream about some things like having a nice house, or losing some weight, or even achieving a certain level of success at work. We believe God for some of our needs, and we pray for reasonable answers to prayer, we may even cry out for a miracle when we are desperate.
But do we limit ourselves in our beliefs? Are there things you think about or long for but hear that mean voice in your head saying. “Don’t get carried away now – that’s going too far.”
Or maybe she says: “You should be grateful for what you have, or where you are, or how far you’ve come.” – and all that is definitely true but then she says: “That’s farther than you thought you’d come.” Or “That kind of life isn’t for you. You don’t have what it takes to do _______ (you fill in the blank)” in order to shut you down from going further. Maybe you just figure the odds are not in your favor so it’s better to not put yourself out there and risk failing, or getting hurt, or losing what little you currently have.
Is That Too Far For God?
Limiting ourselves with the inner voice is one thing, but limiting God, that’s another story.
It’s interesting that each one of us also puts limits on God in our own ways. Some may truly believe that He is a healing God because we’ve experienced healing first hand, but, boy when it comes to finances, well we just don’t think God can intervene there so we work to a point of unhealthy balance or fret over money, or hoard and plan obsessively.
Then there are those who trust God for the material and day-to-day things in life but when it comes to relationships our fists are closed. We control and manipulate in an attempt to keep relationships on our terms or worry about being liked, finding a spouse, or meeting new friends. Some of us worry extensively about our children. We don’t act like we believe He can care for them – after all – He gave them to us- so letting go, well, Mary, isn’t that just going “too far?”
Please Don’t Limit God
Did you know that God doesn’t like when we limit Him? Let Him be the judge of what He can or cannot do, or what He wants to bring to pass in your life.
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. (Isaiah 59:1)
What about the parable of the persistent widow? Some people surely told her to stop asking, “just stop lady – you are going too far!” But Jesus used this story as an example for us to not stop seeking God for amazing things! I determined long ago that I would not stop asking God for miracles or beautiful opportunities unless He sternly and clearly told me “Stop!”
And even when He knows what we are asking for or dreaming about is slightly off track, He doesn’t shut us down. He redirects, helps us to refocus, closes that proverbial door to protect us, but then graciously and lovingly ushers us to a different door.
Read more about the persistent widow here.
I urge you to never limit God’s power or His love for you! We are encouraged with this verse and others like it:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20)
And, if God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31) so why would you ever listen to anyone else’s discouraging voice – even if it is your own?
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. (Proverbs 16:13)
Whatever too far is in your life or in your faith, I encourage you to reconsider. Write down what you believe makes that goal or miracle or dream “too far” and then analyze it against the reality of that black ink and white background.
Take the emotion out of it. Take your insecurities out of it. Take your past failures or mistakes and pretend they never happened. Tell the mean voice to be quiet for 10 minutes so you can look at this objectively.
Pretend this is your best friend’s dream or request of God. What would you tell her? Would you tell her to knock it off and stop being silly or would you encourage her to dive in and begin to move toward that dream? Be your own best friend! Say those things to yourself. Ask God if this is in line with His will and if it needs to be tweaked to fashion your heart’s desires to mimic His.
One thing I am certain of is this: if it’s in your heart, and it’s been there a while, and you dream about, imagine it, are drawn to it, it’s there for a reason.
Stop telling yourself that it’s too far, out of reach, it’s too late, too hard, too expensive, or any of those “too” things.
I once had a lady tell me I couldn’t grow roses because they were too hard to grow. Really??? If I had listened to everyone that told me over the course of my life that what I wanted was “too” whatever, I shudder to think where I would be.
- What if David had listened to his brothers who told him that Goliath was “too big?”
- What if Abraham had told God that the promised land was just “too far”?
- What if the Pilgrims had decided that a trip across the ocean was just “too far”?
- What if those fighting for civil rights had given up because the battle was “too hard.”
You get the picture!
Remember, the steps are the same to achieve a close goal or a far goal and “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” ~ Lao Tzu
There is an African proverb that says, “When you pray, move your feet.”
So get moving because FAR is never TOO FAR!
I hope you are thinking about how far is “too far” for you and for God. I hope very soon you will answer: “Nothing is too far!”
I hope I can continue to encourage you in your walk in life and your faith in God.
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To read more about pursuing a dream read here.