By Bernard Haynes
“The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming another steps down before me.” John 5:7
What excuses have you allowed to keep you from living your vision? Have you told yourself that you are not smart enough to get the promotion, you do not deserve to live a better life, you are not articulate enough to teach, or you will never make enough money to live debt free? Have you convinced yourself with your excuses that something is impossible for you or out of your reach? Have you talked yourself out of going after what God has promised you?
The man at the pool of Bethesda had been waiting at the pool for thirty-eight long years to receive his healing. Every time he would go to the pool after the Angel would stir the water, someone would beat him to the punch. His situation looked impossible.
Making excuses had become so much a part of the man’s life that he could not see his healer standing in front of him. When Jesus asked him did he want to be whole, the first words that came out of his mouth were excuses as to why he could not get to the water to receive his healing.
He told Jesus, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” (Luke 5:7) Jesus did not ask him what or who was keeping him from the entering the pool. He just wanted to know did he want to be whole. The man’s excuses could have cost him his healing.
“Excuses are not accepted, get the job done,” is one of my favorite quotes of all time. I don’t know who gets credit for saying it, but I first heard this quote my senior year playing high school basketball. Our coach would have these inspiring quotes for us to learn and repeat during and after practice to motivate us. I remember this quote became our motivating battle cry because of the trials we experienced that year.
That particular year we had to play every one of our games on the road because the gym was being remodeled. To this day, I still do not understand why the administration decided to remodel the gym right before the beginning of basketball season. They gave us no respect.
We had a tough regular season that year because of all of the distractions of not having a home gym. We had to practice and play all of our games on the road. I remember sometimes having to carry two uniforms because we did not know if we were going to be the home or visiting team.
During the regular season, we played hard despite all the distractions, but we still ended the season with a losing record. After the regular season, our next game was the sub-region tournament. We were ranked last in our sub-region. Everyone was expecting us to play one game and lose.
I remember something powerful happening in practice the week before the tournament that changed the remainder of our season. We decided to take our quote serious and make no excuses and get the job done. We could have allowed all the distractions; the losing record, last place in the region or not having a home gym keep us from making a real effort to win the tournament.
We turned what could have been a list of excuses as to why it was OK to lose; to motivation to win the tournament. During practice that week we decided that we were going to play like the neutral site was our home gym. We made up our mind that no team that week was going to beat us. We turned what could have been a negative situation into positive winning energy.
I remember the first night of the tournament we played the third ranked team and won. The next night we played the second ranked team and won. In the championship game, we played the number one team and won. We had done what others thought was impossible.
We went from being counted out to winning the championship. Now we were entering a greater challenge to play in the region playoffs. We knew if we won one game, we would go to the state playoffs. Our intentions were not to just win that one game, but win the region tournament.
We again set our minds that this neutral site was our home gym and no one was going to beat us. We played the first game and won. We knew after that win we were going to the state playoffs, but we wanted that region championship. We had accomplished what seemed impossible because we did not allow excuses to cloud our minds on what was possible.
The rest of the story is that we lost the region championship in what was a very close game. Even though we lost that game, we still got a chance to go to the state playoffs. We lost in the first round of the state playoffs in a game that went down to the very last seconds.
It was a very disappointing loss, but we were still pleased because we saw what was possible when you work hard and do not allow excuses to control you. I share this story to challenge you to put away all the excuses that hinder you from living your vision and go after what you know is possible for your life and family.
You do not know what you can accomplish until you do it.
- I don’t care if it hasn’t been done before, do it anyway.
- I don’t care if no one will go with you; go by yourself.
- I don’t care if you don’t get encouragement from your family or friends, encourage yourself.
If God asks you the question, “Do you want to be made whole?”, jump up, tell Him yes, and then do exactly what He tells you without any excuses. When you decide to stop making excuses, you can possess your promises and live your destiny.
“The person who really wants to do something finds a way; the other person finds an excuse.” – Author Unknown