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[Stories of Transformation] You Gotta Want It!

 —  January 7, 2014 — 2 Comments

Transformation, at least the good kind, rarely “just happens.”

  • Marriages don’t just get healthier.
  • Friendships don’t just get stronger.
  • Your eating habits don’t just get better.
  • Your attitude about your boss doesn’t just become more favorable.

 No, none of this stuff “just happens.” It all takes work. In fact, it all takes a fairly significant amount of intentional effort.

When I was in junior high, I played Pop Warner football. I was decent, and one particular season I decided that it wasn’t enough to simply be a two-way starter. I wanted to play every single down-to neverlittlefootball guy leave the field over the course of the game. I told my coach about my goal, and he chuckled then said, “Okay, Johnston, but you gotta want it!” In typical 8th grade guy fashion I replied, “Umm coach, I do want it, that’s why I said I wanted it.”

I had no idea what “wanting it” really meant. I assumed since I was a good football player and the coaches liked me that my transformation into a never-leave-the-field player would sorta “just happen,” because I hoped it would. My coaches had other plans. In their “coachy” way of thinking, I had to put in the work, prepare, and earn the right to never leave the field. I had to become better at punch coverage and staying in my lane on the kickoff team (stuff you football fans understand). I had to run extra wind sprints to ensure that I was fit enough to never need a break. I had no idea it would take such a significant amount of intentional effort!

This isn’t a story about transformation. It’s a story about what it takes to prepare the way for transformation. And regardless of where you hope to see transformation take place this year, it almost certainly won’t happen without a fairly significant amount of intentional effort.

 So here are some simple questions:

  • What area(s) of your life and ministry do you hope to see transformed this year? Are there some areas you have hoped transformation would “just happen”?
  • What do you need to do in order to help the process?
  • Are you willing to do what it takes? Because like my coach said, “You gotta want it!”




Kurt Johnston

Kurt Johnston


Kurt Johnston leads the student ministries team at Saddleback Church in Southern California. His ministry of choice, however, is junior high, where he spends approximately 83.4% of his time.

2 responses to [Stories of Transformation] You Gotta Want It!

  1. Thanks for the thoughts, Kurt! I agree with the idea of preparing for transformation by “wanting it.” I just thought it was interesting that in the list of examples that you opened your blog with two examples involve just you and two examples involve others. I’ve had experiences where I’ve wanted transformation badly in some of my relationships and have even put in the time and effort to make transformation happen. It didn’t. I think when it come to personal goals that transformation can happen by “you gotta want it,” but when other people become involved, I think we have to be careful, prayerful and discerning about what sort of transformation we’re looking for because it may not happen just because we want it. Blessings.

  2. Kurt Johnston

    Thanks, Jonathan!
    I hear what you are saying and mostly agree. However, in the two examples I mentioned that involved others…they didn’t JUST involve others, I play a role in those, too. I play a role in my marriage and in my friendships so I also play a role in their strength and health.

    So I think me having a “Got a want it!” attitude in allowing God to transform my marriage and my friendships does play a significant part….though, as you said, not 100%

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