Obstacles and Problems

Ken Hakuta is an inventor and the host of “The Dr. Fad Show,” a children’s show devoted to conversations about inventions.  That’s the extent of what I know about Mr. Hakuta, but he makes an important observation:

“Lack of money is no obstacle.  Lack of an idea is an obstacle.”

Depending on your life’s circumstances, Mr. Hakuta’s observation could be heard in more than one way:

You might hear him telling you:

“You talk a lot about money being an obstacle.  That’s not an obstacle.  The real obstacle is the absence of ideas.  You already have an idea, so now what are you going to do?”

Heard from that perspective, Mr. Hakuta’s observation is invitation to find a strategy for implementing your idea.

Listening from another place in life, you might hear him saying:

“You talk about money being an obstacle, but that’s no obstacle.  You would only be facing a real obstacle if you didn’t have an idea.  So, don’t let limited resources hold you back.  You have an idea, devote what you have to the effort.”

Heard from this perspective, Mr. Hakuta’s words are a call to arms, the resolve to act.

Listening from still another perspective, what you might hear is this:

“You talk about money being an obstacle, that’s no obstacle. But you have an idea and all you talk about is money.  Stop stalling.”

Heard from that perspective, Mr. Hakuta’s words are a challenge, a call to commitment.

Over the past few years I have lost count of the number of people who complain that they don’t have the money needed to accomplish what God has called them to do.  It has become a national epidemic — a rationale for diminished dreams, an excuse for smaller visions and diminished dreams.

Don’t live there.

Are you out of ideas?  Ask God for help in finding one.

Do you have a God-given vision, but are afraid to pursue it?  Press ahead with the resources you have.

Do you have an idea, but you just aren’t committed?

Well, that’s a problem — but it isn’t an obstacle.

About Frederick Schmidt

The Reverend Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt, Jr. holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, and directs the Rueben Job Institute for Spiritual Formation. He is an Episcopal Priest, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, conference leader, writer, and consulting editor at Church Publishing in New York. He is the author of numerous published articles and reviews, as well as several books: A Still Small Voice: Women, Ordination and the Church (Syracuse University Press, 1998), The Changing Face of God (Morehouse, 2000), When Suffering Persists (Morehouse, 2001), in Italian translation: Sofferenza, All ricerca di una riposta (Torino: Claudiana, 2004), What God Wants for Your Life (Harper, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Revelation (Morehouse, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Luke (Morehouse, 2009), and The Dave Test (Abingdon, 2013). He and his wife, Natalie (who is also an academic and an Episcopal priest), live in Highland Park, Illinois, with their Gordon Setter, Hilda of Whitby. They have four children and four grandchildren: Henry, Addie, Heidi, and Sophie.


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