In the last blog post I talked about not letting your failures rob you of your future. I have to tell you, I just had another one of those moments not too long ago. I sat at my desk to re-learn Greek and Hebrew and thought to myself, "If I had just done this and stuck with it, I would have been using it for the last EIGHT YEARS." Imagine how well I would know the language of the Bible and be able to read it, and hopefully teach it, by now. Immediately I felt down and not up to what I was setting out to do.
I reminded myself that when I started lifting weights I had the same block and mindset. But I kept walking those stairs and made it part of my day. That is the key - make it part of your day. Block off a time and do it. Be disciplined.
Right now, if you're still reading, you may have immediately thought "I don't have any extra time in my day." You're right. None of us do. But there are things that can go that are in your day that are taking away from your best possible self. Find out what it is, or what they are, and begin to retool and refocus. Use those things as bonuses when you complete three consecutive days with your new habit or skill. But begin blocking out that time.
Here is a phrase I need to repeat to myself: ERADICATE THE EXCUSES, BECOME BETTER. I really believe that when we begin to do things better, and structure our days better, we become better people. It takes discipline. But I truly believe that we can become better people by ever so slowly changing what we do each day. For me, this involves doing this better each day so that I can live more fully into who God wants me to be - which is far and away more than I could do or become myself. He wants me (and us) to be like Him. That's crazy! And we can't do it by our own will, power, or strength. That's where the Holy Spirit comes in. But that's a blog (or two) for later ...
Below are some of my most common excuses to not do something. I am sure some of you can relate to these.
Don’t want to go
Let's face it, we just don't fee like doing stuff. This fact is all the more reason for us to strive to begin to live differently. I don't want to get older and have more problems and/or more regrets. So I think about the end goal and where I want to be. I remind myself that there are people there now who went through the struggles I might go through, or more, and they appear more whole, more happy. So despite how I feel, I try my hardest to focus on the goal, whether I feel like it or not.
Another thing, once I get started and get going my mind focuses on the task. Since I am no longer focused on how I don't really feel like doing something, and am now focused on actually doing it, my mindset is different. Makes sense right?
As soon as that thought comes, "I just don't feel like it," is when we need to start moving or getting things ready for us to do whatever it is we've day dreamed about being great at.
Other things to do
Quite often I think about all the other things I feel like I need to do. The reality is that if I order my day right and focus, I can get those things done with plenty of time to spare. More often than not I look back at the day and thought about how I wasted it thinking about everything I had to do, rather than actually doing it. More than that, it often ends up not taking up too much of my time - time that I spend doing nothing!
So just do the thing.
Want simple gist of something to do that won’t take too much time
Here is a trap. Because I am focused on wanting to do so much, I just want to do something quick. This isn't good, nor is doing things quickly a good habit to form. Perhaps if you are just getting into the new routine it is fine, but eventually we really need to do something better and better not just learn how to do it to get by. It's like playing guitar with a capo. You can get by for awhile, but eventually if you want to get really good you're going to have to learn those other chords ... and it's actually not hard. It is simply unfamiliar.
So don't let something not happen because you are unsure or unfamiliar. Instead of wasting time thinking about things and binge watching Amazon Prime (or Netflix), "waste" time looking into details of something you are interested in and learn.
Once you start leaning into working towards your day dream, you will love it when you see changes, especially when other people notice the changes. Like I said in an earlier blog, once the results begin to happen you will be happier and more motivated than ever to continue. But you have to do the thing. Eradicate the excuses and do the discipline.
I could be a master of the biblical languages right now. But I am not. So I am just going to try and be a master later and not get all down about not being one now. I am fitter than I was in High School, so if I can be in better shape later in life, I can do other things too!
And so can you.
Get after it. Eradicate the excuses. Do the discipline. Be better.
Last time I talked about results and how motivating they are when you begin to see them. Results come with just about anything, even not doing something will bring about certain results. When it comes to things I would like to accomplish in my life, or with things I want to change about myself, I'll often think something like, "A year from now I'll ...," or "Man, in five years I would be so skilled in ..."
I don't know if you have ever had any thought process like that. It's what I call the day dream. I day dream about a lot of things, but I'll often day dream about one or two situations more than anything else. Many times we can get stuck thinking about how our day dreams are too far out of sight and can never be reached.
Well, I believe the impossible can be achieved.
It should be a given that I believe in God. After all, this is a blog on a church website. I also believe that God changed our hearts, attitudes, and minds to that of Christ Jesus when we believe in the person and name (which has power) of Jesus Christ. There's a host of things to say here, but I'm going to simply say that when we are transformed by the Gospel, God puts a desire in our hearts to accomplish some impossible things.
You might think the weight won't ever come off. You might think you'll always have diabetes. You might think you will never be able to stop drinking, smoking, shooting up, snorting, or whatever else. You might say that you have tried before, saw good results for a time, but went right back into what you were doing before - but it's worse now. So, trying to overcome again might end up being more detrimental or worse than where you are now.
I understand that. But don't let your failures rob you of your future. Let me ask, who did you have around you to hold you accountable every week, maybe even every day when you started? Who came alongside you and did things with you? Helped you dump all the bottles? Flush all the powder? How honest were you with yourself? How honest were you with others?
Results happen with real honestly, and a real mindset of overcoming. It is possible, not impossible.
It is the same with the church - and by "church" I mean the people who believe in Jesus Christ and want to be like him, as he told us we could be. It starts with an honest look at who we are, where we are, how we are doing, and what direction our life has taken.
So where are you? Are you needing something different? Do you have a day dream you believe to be impossible? Do you believe in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit?
Even if not let me ask you this, why not chase after something that could better your life? Why not? Because you may fail? So? Are you failing now? May as well fail forward in pursuit of something worthwhile than fail by not pursuing anything!
I have failed. But those failures led me to something better. Don't let your failures rob you of your future.
Some "weekly" musings from Pastor Dave as he sits on his porch and drinks coffee, thinking about theology and lifting heavy weights. For gymsharks, there is something called "Flex Fridays," where we vainly put up photos of ourselves flexing. So this blog is my attempt to flex my theological muscles through reflection ... get it?