There’s a statement in the Scriptures that has never left me. In the Book of James it speaks of how any of us who know the good we ought to do, but don’t, sin.
We fail to live life well not only when we commit acts of evil and selfishness, but also when we abstain from doing all the good we were created to do.
And it’s for this reason I’ve been dwelling on the resistance the past while. It wouldn’t be right of us to encourage one another to create good, express beauty, and serve humanity, without speaking of resistance.
Here are some ways you can tell resistance is creeping in (I’ve encountered most of these intimately) :
Apathy. You let go of the pedal and succumb to the voices in your head. You trust all will work out in the end so it’s okay if you’re existence didn’t matter in the ways that it should have.
We stay busy doing stuff. It feels honorable, but I wonder how many of us are working hard towards a life not worth living.
Entertaining ourselves. We shop, watch, read, game, and daydream. Deep down we know we’re suppose to be living fully, but it’s often easier to just casually mimic or vicariously live through another poor soul who’s doing the work battling resistance.
Critiquing. While there’s always a place for constructive criticism it’s easy to sit back and embrace it as your sole contribution to humanity. I came a great Chinese proverb recently – The person who says it cannot be done should never interrupt the one who is doing it.
Organizing. This one is deceptive as it’s essential to getting things done, but it can easily leave you running in circles. Do you spend the bulk of your time organizing, preparing, re-arranging, and researching? I know I do, I’ve got thirty other browser tabs open as I type. The resistance is laughing.
Tooling up. Don’t get caught up in trying to buy your way to mastery. You’ll never have enough equipment or resources to make things perfect. I bet Van Gogh would still create masterpieces if he were missing colors.
Dramatic flair. Every person who wants to do good and create beauty has angst within them. When we give into channeling our angst into minutia we only feed resistance and presses back the finish line.
Multitasking. The easiest thing for me to do each thing is everything else, but the one thing that matters. We rob ourselves of doing anything with excellence when we’re spread thin.
Association. The resistance has us down for the count when we think proximity to the dream is the same as the dream itself. Just because you wear the badge, or are part of that club, or know that person, doesn’t mean you’ve done anything meaningful.
Giving up early. If you manage to get through all that resistance has to throw at you; every voice, fear, and distraction – there’s still the matter of getting up the next day, doing it all again, and fighting for every inch of progress forward.
The more you try, the easier it is to think you’ve given it a fair effort. This is where justifiable excuses prop up and resistance wins again.
When biker Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer we all would have understood if he decided to put an end to things. Of course, seven Tour de France wins later, we’d think what a shame it would’ve been if he never kept trying.
Be sure you recognize resistance when it’s beating your hopes to a pulp.