I start diets and new exercise regimens but I rarely stick to them long term. Usually I chalk up my lack of resiliency as a result of diminished returns. I just don’t see progress that is worth the effort. And I really like sugar!
Weight loss, or just plain health, takes time. It is an invested process that arrives on the far end.
But when my perspective changes and the incremental gains (or losses at it would be) are not what is most important then the strategies are easier to stick with. When I am committed to health rather than look or longevity over momentary whims, that is where resiliency develops.
All that said, I think sanctification is similar. The significant difference being that you don’t achieve sanctification yourself, like your justification it is a gift promised and delivered by God. But you don’t reject the gift because it takes a long time.
When you set your mind on the glory of Christ, health, and longevity in him you can keep pressing on with expectancy. Petitioning the Lord to work transformation in you.
So what will it be? Angst at the process’ timeline or trust in God’s plan and promise? Let’s go with God.
As I have discipled or mentored people in varying seasons of life one helpful conclusion for everyone has been that someone has gone through the same things before them. Once you recognize there are others with insight to give, you are likely to heed it.
Increasingly I have noticed a trend of disillusionment toward the experience of others. Those I try to encourage exude an attitude that says their story or circumstance is unique and no one would have any clue what they are going through.
I get the temptation toward that feeling. Just on the base level of our selfish sinfulness or course we would lean toward narcissism as if we are all that matter, or have ever mattered. And this is why community is so vital as we pursue life, and especially pursue Jesus.
When we awaken to the reality that others have faced similar or the same situations, we enter into a gracious space of being understood. This is where bearing with one another happens. This is where growth happens.
So please, don’t think you can or should go it alone because your situation is a one-of-a-kind. Someone has been there before, and they are probably closer than you think.
I should say patch of sand given I live near the desert…
Maybe it is time for us to see the Kingdom of God as the thing of importance rather than our little patch of it. Instead of our own brand we could build partnerships and gospel unity for the fame of Christ in our cities.
I promise this is where the good stuff is. Outposts of Jesus’ new reality working in unison not to draw a crowd but to see the Kingdom go forth for the glory of God.
Let’s do it.
I have noticed something quite worrisome as of late. No one pays attention. There seems to be too much information coming at us each day and to be honest, we are all narcisistic so we have little attention span for worthwhile things unless we are convinced they are about us.
The email that you receive but don’t read. The article you skim without absorbing (that’s me). The conversation you can’t track with because your mind is across the room. Noise upon noise and we don’t know how to listen right, hear what is said or read what is written. (Knowing this I realize the slim chance anyone will read this!)
Then reading a book on Missions by Andy Johnson I came across this gem:
“I once rented a vacation apartment on the sixth floor of a building with no elevator. The owner had been very clear in every email, stating, “This apartment is on the sixth floor and there is no elevator.” Still, the significance of her disclosure didn’t really hit me until I was panting on the fifth-floor landing, hauling suitcase number two of three up the winding stairs. Yet, as I stood there trying to remember the symptoms of a heart attack, I couldn’t feel angry toward the owner. She had been up-front about it, all along. I should have paid more attention.”
Oh man, this is good. We all have stories like this because we don’t pay enough attention.
Think about it. Awaken to what’s important. And please pay attention!