Recently I have shared that I am paying closer attention to what I eat and being a lot more intentional about scheduling daily exercise into my routine. The results have been incredible – the shedding of unwanted pounds and an infusion of energy I have not had in quite a long time. But the past couple weeks, I have been a little frustrated by my progress. You see, at the very beginning of this journey, the impact was significant and rather quickly, I might add. I was excited to exercise because I was seeing rapid progress. However, things slowed down a bit last week and numbers were not what I had hoped they’d be. I reviewed my routine and couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong – what had stalled my momentum?
Since my “no excuses workout” (that’s the title I have given it!) began, I have time and again seen a correlation between my physical and spiritual health. Even as I was questioning, this week, why I was “plateauing” physically, I also was seeing that there was a spiritual complacency that I had fallen into. I had become the person spoken about in the book of James (1:21-25):
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
I wasn’t regressing, but I definitely wasn’t growing – definitely not in the dramatic ways I had in seasons past. So, after I gave being frustrated and resigned to the slow down way too much of my attention, I decided that I would instead be open to learning what I needed to from this plateau and be just as intentional about moving from this place as I was before I arrived. Spiritually speaking:
- I made more time to be still and let God do more of the talking then me, during prayer.
- I was intentional about inviting Him to be a part of my day – not just the moments that I perceive my needs are greater.
- Our conversation was not just one slice of my day – when I scheduled it – but instead it was reaffirmed as a continual conversation.
- I called myself out for being spiritually apathetic and lazy.
I did the same when it came to pushing myself physically. If the run was getting to be a little too easy, then perhaps it was time to change it up, increase the miles and speed – push myself! And that’s exactly what I have done. I’m not sure whether I have officially left the plateau, but I know there has been movement and my focus is on “progress not perfection.”
As relieved as I am that things are becoming less stagnant, the truth is that I am going to find myself in the same stalled spot again. And regardless of whether or not you and I choose to be “here”…on this plateau…. we get to decide how we will respond to the slower pace, the frustrations, the feeling that we are misunderstood, that are prayers are going unanswered, and that “this”…this moment will be how we are remembered. Not even close! Friend, be open to listening, reflecting, repenting, meditating, and course correcting. Regardless of what your bank account, naysayers, or even the scale says about you, KNOW that no one knows and loves you like the God of this universe. He has already said and more importantly shown you and me how much we are loved (John 3:16).
He is actively at work on our behalf!
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