Song to Share: TobyMac, "Move (Keep Walkin')"
For months through sheer will power I have been forcing myself to go to the gym. There have many stops and false starts along the way. Lately it’s been getting slightly easier. I talked to my health coach about this. She said, “the hardiest thing about the gym is getting to the gym!” It is difficult to conquer our resistance and all the excuses that come up. It is hard living in the land of in-between – no visible results but a lot of internal inertia and old habits to push against. It can take anywhere from three weeks to seven months of consistent effort to lay that foundation of new, healthy habits. What makes the difference to success is how we choose to think about it. Will I give in or will I continue, no matter what? Will I ignore the negative chatter from that part of us that would keep us down, do the same old things, refuse to change?
Jesus once said a curious, even shocking thing. “Let the dead bury their own dead. You, however, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first let me bid farewell to my family.” Then Jesus declared, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God. Luke 9: 60-62.” Clearly Jesus spoke in strong metaphors to convey spiritual truths. We can very easily be pulled back to the past, old ties, entrenched patterns of thought and living that keep us from the life of freedom, loving service and healthy habits that God wants for us. God calls us to move forward, not to dwell in the past or pine away for the future. Surely we can trap ourselves in fond memories or dreams as easily as traumatic, painful ones. Jesus wants us to understand that we are to live in the present, for that is where we will find the Kingdom of Heaven. “The Kingdom of Heaven is in your midst” (Luke 17:21) Jesus declared.
So we must build the habits that keep us focused on the Holy Present. It doesn’t mean we forget the past or ignore the future, but we recognize that today is all we are given. The Kingdom is here, waiting to be discovered, today. Mindful of this, we take the time to unearth the Kingdom around us. We consciously make space to pray and meditate. We read scriptures and devotional material. We love with purpose. We help others where we can and give generously of ourselves. We take the walk we have postponed, write the letter or make the phone call we have put off; we go to the gym. We do the precious things that build a grateful life. At first it all may seem awkward, but over time our body and mind shifts, as we create healthy Kingdom Habits. It is said that the first step in a journey is always the longest or the hardest. Let us take that first step together.
Step out today on the sacred adventure that is your life. And don’t look back.