Your dream has stalled out--now what?
We've all been there before--backed up in traffic and slowing making our way up to the incident that has caused you and hundreds of other commuters to be late for work. Expecting some terrible accident or other catastrophe, you crawl by, looking out your window to assess the situation. There, you see a single car (or two, if someone was kind enough to stop for help). You may have a moment of pity, or your frustration may instantly rise to the surface when you realize it was just a stalled car. Somehow we find an accident to be more acceptable than car trouble.
So what is it that makes a car stall out? Wikipedia says: "It might be due to not getting enough air, fuel, or electric spark, mechanical failure, or in response to a sudden increase in engine load." So, in order to get going again, the question is raised as to which of these deficiencies/problems are affecting the engine, and how it can be remedied.
Honestly, I'm stalled out right now. What seemed to have been a season of cruising along, being purposeful and productive in writing, learning, and implementing new ideas, has now come to a stop. You'd be surprised at how long I stared at a computer screen before even this much content came out. So, it's time to get out the jumper cables, right? Maybe.
First, I've got to figure out the nature of my problem. What has cause my dream to stall out? Am I lacking air, fuel or electric spark? Or perhaps, I'm experiencing engine failure. The third issue may be a stall due to a sudden increase in engine load. If you find yourself in a similar season of being stalled out, join me as we asses the situation:
- Has anything changed in your environment? Is there less stimulation, inspiration or creativity in your life? Is your "engine" being fed what it needs? If there is a blockage, seek to remove it. If you are unable to determine any shortages in this area, move to the next phase of assessment.
- Are you experiencing "engine failure"? Perhaps sickness, financial or personal trials, or some other external force has made its way into your life. If it is one of these issues that has caused your dream to stall, you will need to be purposeful and diligent in seeking help. Your problems are your own, but they are not unique. Find encouragement and inspiration from others who have walked though similar difficulties, and have overcome. I don't trivialize your pain and struggles. They are real, and they really hurt. Yet, I know that if your dream is one that God has given you, He will use even the hurt to transform your dream into something more beautiful and meaningful than you could have ever conceived of.
- Do you have a sudden increase in engine load? This may be a new baby, new job/home, or obligations that you feel bound to. Sometimes, saying "no" to new projects or requests can be a simple solution to reducing the weight you carry. But, when the new responsibilities come through birth, adoption or life change, it's not something you can unhitch and drive away from. In this case, it will be some time before your motor adapts to the new work load--but it will adapt. Sleeplessness doesn't last forever. Stress can be managed (with the right tools) and new/different jobs take some time to learn and adjust to. You may even need someone to pull you to the top of that first big hill. But, after you've gained some momentum, that new and heavy load will become a natural part of your journey.
So, have you determined what has caused your stall? I think I have. So, whether we need to pick up a set of jumper cables to reignite the spark, find help and encouragement from an outside source, or patiently build up our tolerance and capacity to a new load, let's choose to move forward. Dream on my friends!