Monday, January 17, 2022

Happy "International Quitters' Day"!

Today is INTERNATIONAL QUITTERS' DAY, the day when people are most likely to give up their New Year's resolutions. Not me!!! 

So ... by God's grace I have yet to break a resolution I passed on January 1st of this month. 

  • Eating breakfast every morning? Check!
  • Keeping a daily activity journal? Check!
  • Flossing every night? Check!
  • Making my bed every morning? Check!
  • Cleaning up the kitchen each morning? Check!
  • Watching every single thing I put into my mouth? Check!

My friend, the best way to start something you've been putting off is to just START! It's the first step that counts the most. The others will follow. No, it won't be easy. Rome wasn't built in a day. (I just made that up.) It takes time, effort, pain, suffering, resilience, stamina, planning, dedication, and a truckload of other virtues. 

When former alcoholics were asked by Harvard psychologist George Vaillant why they had given up their drinking, their number one answer was that they recognized they were no longer in charge. All change begins with self-knowledge. Once they decided to take charge of their lives, Dr. Vaillant asked them, "What forces helped you to make that decision stick?" There were four factors:

1. Behavior modification, usually with some sort of supervision.

2. Substitute dependencies.

3. Increased religious involvement.

4. New relationships. 

It's evident that Christianity provides all four of these factors. We allow God to change our behavior through the supervision of the Holy Spirit. We substitute a living relationship with God for our dependencies. We begin practicing spiritual disciplines. And we find new relationships in the body of Christ. In short, Christ becomes a substitute dependency

I have often said this to my classes so I might as well say it again: I couldn't live a single day with Jesus in my life. His presence becomes an experience that gives hope and wellness to my life. In Christ, we begin to discharge what is latent within us. Our potential as a human being becomes more and more a reality. We learn how to get the best out of our bodies, our minds, and our souls. 

I'm curious. What's something you have been putting off that you KNOW you should be doing? Why haven't you taken that first step? Yes, its going to take time and effort. But the key to anything is taking that first baby step. Any of us can tackle that first step and keep going if we truly believe it's what the Lord wants us to do. 

I'm sick and tired of being safe. Here I go, one day at a time, one limitation at a time. 

Baby steps!