Sunday, January 06, 2013

practice makes perfect

Why do you suppose most people don't finish their new year's resolutions?

I know for me, personally, it's all about the passage of time and my own laziness.  I am a forgetful person (times that by 100 now that I have kids. If you don't see me write it down, it ain't gonna happen!) and a very "on my own terms" kind of person.

While reading "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp I came across her thoughts on why she'd often times heard a sermon or read scripture about "giving thanks" but how it had never really changed her.  She says it all boils down to practice for her.  She discovers this while reading Philippians 4:11-13

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

Twice Paul mentions practice as in "I have learned" how to be thankful and content. We have to learn our goals, practice them.... daily, hourly, minute by minute remind myself that I am thankful.

So in order to be successful with your New Year's resolution and for me to cultivate a more eucharisteo lifestyle, we must put ourselves to daily practice of such.  Think about it. If your goal is to lose weight, you won't magically wake up tomorrow ten pounds lighter.  Oh!  If that were only the key to weight loss, everyone would be the ideal weight that they want OR on the other hand we'd have such a bad habit of indulgence because it would require nothing of us, no sacrifice for us to reach our ideal goal.  If you could wake up tomorrow without working for your goal but having your goal accomplished I am willing to bet you wouldn't cherish your goal as much as working for it.

I have a lot of dear friends who are engaged right now.  They labored and prayed and waited for these days.  Think of how sweet the wedding will be after the wait is finally over.  I know when Hubs and I got married I counted down the days and greatly anticipated the big celebration.

Anything worth having, is also worth waiting for and working towards.... right?

I confess, I am the worst at this. Worst!  I have told you, my dear friends, multiples times how "itchy" and tired I get of life.  I rearrange my furniture quarterly (if not more), I paint, I redecorate.... etc. I get so bored with life that I need change.   And I've come to realize, appreciate and even admire that about myself.  My desire for change is a gift from God.  But how can I thrive in daily practice and discipline when I shudder at the mundane?


I cannot become the woman I am intended to be, the wife, the mother, the friend, sister, etc. without saying no to some things in life.  For example; I want to get up at 6AM every morning.  That means I have to be very good about going to be at a decent hour.  

You're probably thinking right now how boring and un-fun I sound but I want to encourage you that a little daily discipline and sacrifice can help us all to become the people we want to. Whether it's a spiritual goal or a physical goal.  We can't reach it without discipline and sacrifice.

Read Hebrews 11! It's all about people who sacrificed without seeing the fruits of their labors. Yet, they continued to labor because they knew the real "fruits of their labors" didn't lay on this side of heaven.  

So what's your word? And how can you practice your word today?

1 Corinthians 9:24, "Run in such a way to gain the prize"

No comments: