I heard about a grandfather who took his small grandson to town. Starting out, he let his grandson ride the family donkey, and he walked alongside. They passed by a neighbor who said, “Look at that selfish boy making the old man walk.” So the grandfather took the boy off the donkey, and he rode it with his grandson walking by the side. Someone came along and said, “Look at that old man, making that little boy walk while he rides.” Hearing that, the grandfather pulled the little boy up, and they both rode the donkey. A few minutes later, someone said, “How cruel of you to put so much weight on the poor donkey!” By the time they got to town, the grandfather and grandson were carrying the donkey.
I think you’ll agree that too often in life we’re carrying a donkey around—we’re worried about what people think about us, pressured into being what people want us to be, trying to not disappoint anyone, and trying to convince people to be our friends. Today, you need to know that it’s time to put that donkey down. Start running your own race and following what God put in your heart. In Jesus’ life, when the time came for Him to be crucified, the Scripture says, “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). There was no more preaching to the multitudes and feeding five thousand, no more waiting at the well for the Samaritan woman, no more stopping by Zacchaeus’s house for dinner. Those things had been for a season, but now He didn’t have time for distractions. His hour had come. God is saying to you, “Your hour has come.” If you’re going to reach your highest potential, you have to do as Jesus did and set your face. You can’t get distracted by things that are keeping you from your purpose.
The enemy would love for you to waste your time and energy trying to win over every critic, to respond to every negative comment, and to convince someone to understand why you don’t do or say things that they want to see or hear. Your time is too valuable. That’s a distraction. Everyone is not going to like you or support you. That’s okay. You don’t need them to fulfill your destiny. If you changed and did everything they wanted, they would still find some reason to not like you. The people whom you need to be for you will be for you. God has already lined up people who will celebrate you, who will stick with you, who see the best in you. Set your face, run your own race, and stay focused on your goals.