Let’s take a minute to think about the Wild West. It’s not so “wild” anymore—most of it has been taken over by suburbs and shopping malls; cities like San Francisco and Seattle. But to Americans hundreds of years ago, the idea of the Western US being anything other than wild was laughable. It was an endless mass of uninhabitable deserts and hulking mountains and legendary wildlife that bred fear across the East Coast.
And then there were the pioneers.
A few hundred families who saw a future in what many saw as nothing but wild, the American pioneers followed a calling to make a new home in a place they felt they truly belonged, even if it meant months of travel into a vast area that held as many ghost stories as it did dreams.
Just like the pioneers took on the wilderness of the American West, you’ve been called to see the potential in the untilled ground of your job, your family, or the hearts of others. You’re backed by generations of spiritual pioneers who are cheering you on. These moms and dads of the faith all saw beyond what was in front of them and into the future they were promised.
The beginning of your journey into the unknown, whether it looks like starting a business, going to college, or building a family, is often filled with excitement and anticipation about the future. The start of something new is often when our faith seems to be at its highest, but history shows us otherwise. What we believe is faith is often adrenaline. True faith kicks in when adrenaline runs out.
Fathers of the faith, like Abraham, started their journeys with surety but grew in faith as time went on, moving step by step towards their end goal. What was important to them was not whether they arrived at the promises of God, but that they were moving towards their point of arrival. Pioneers had no GPS to tell them how much farther they were from their destination, but they knew that every step forward was an accomplishment.
Jesus understood and lived by this concept, too. When He charged listeners to “Be perfect, therefore, as (their) Heavenly Father is perfect,” he used the Greek word Teleos, which actually paints a picture of the process of obtaining a goal, in this case, of wholeness. If God Himself submits to process, why shouldn’t we, His chosen pioneers, submit to process as well?
The pioneers of the nineteenth century didn’t fully fulfill their dream of big, sprawling cities right away. Instead, they believed that one day those cities would stand because they pressed forward, even if they didn’t see those cities for themselves. In what areas of your life do you expect automatic change? Ask God how you can submit to His processes. Don’t be afraid to get honest about any fears you have of not reaching your goal or receiving the promises He’s given you. True faith starts with a belief that God can handle your doubts.