There is an old engineering joke about how to fix anything:
There are times in life when it seems that we are stuck and left wondering if there is any Life WD-40 that can help get us “unstuck.” While there may not be a spray can of WD-40 to spray on areas of life that are stuck in place, there are some small, simple methods that we can employ to get unstuck.
Casey Cease’s article Just Do It lays out some of these solutions:
Have you ever had a day, week, month, or year where you’ve felt stuck? (Or maybe you feel like this all the time?) Whether it be vocationally, spiritually, or relationally, you just feel like things aren’t moving along as they should. We’ve all been there. The question is, how do you get out of those seasons?
The other day I went to help a friend get his yard in order because he was feeling overwhelmed by it. Some time had passed from the last time he did yard work, for sure, but it wasn’t all that bad. However, the task seemed daunting to him, because he felt stuck. This experience caused me to reflect on times when I have felt overwhelmed or stuck, which has happened several times in the past.
Here are a few things to remember when you are feeling stuck and some things to help you become unstuck:
1. Remember Whose You Are.
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then you have been purchased, adopted, and identified with Christ. As followers of Jesus we need to remember that we are called to freedom (Galatians 5:1, 13) and not slavery. This freedom enables us to become unstuck.
2. Admit That You’re Stuck.
We were made to be in relationship with other people. For followers of Jesus, we’ve been called to live in community with one another. Confess your stuck-ness to God and to those around you who will love you, pray for you, and if necessary, hold you accountable.
3. Set Realistic Goals.
If you have some chores or tasks that need to get done, create a list or checklist. I like to use a free service called Do.com for this, but regular old pen and paper work just fine, too. If you haven’t read your Bible in months, then setting a goal of reading it for three hours is not realistic. If your entire house needs to be deep cleaned but you only have an hour, then pick one room. If your house is a total disaster, then start by cleaning the room used least, so that it will stay cleaner long. Setting realistic goals will help you experience some momentum and help you to not become discouraged.
4. Just Do Something.
A lot of times, when we are feeling stuck, we end up not doing anything. That’s almost always the worst solution to this problem. Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves, we need to find something constructive to do and do it. For those who are “waiting on the Lord” (there are certainly situations for this, but a lot of people use this as an excuse to cover up their laziness), they need to realize that there is a lot that they should still be doing (i.e. The Great Commandment and the Great Commission). I really enjoyed a book by Kevin DeYoung called—wait for it—Just Do Something.
5. Ask for Help.
There is no shame in asking for help. Perhaps you need to hire someone, delegate a project, or you just need to ask some people in your community for help. After all, most of the time, our pride keeps us from asking for help, and we all know that that only hurts us.
The good news about the gospel of Jesus is that he meets us where we are, but also refuses to leave us there. You have the opportunity and the power to get unstuck. So what are you waiting for?