The Journey

“He who overcomes others is strong, he who overcomes himself is mighty.” – Chinese Proverb

So here we are getting to the end of January.  How are those resolutions coming?  Hmm. This is where the rubber meets the road.  Let me try to explain a way of thinking that might help.  If you’ve given up now’s your second chance.

There’s this song we sing in church that goes, “Holy God, take my heart, purge with flame and truth.”  For some reason I have a hard time singing that, because why would I want to be tested with flame and truth?  I mean some of these guys with their “bring it on” attitude have yet to encounter what a real test is like, something that truly tests their faith.  There’s a few that have and maybe really mean it.  But others like me are a bit more shallow in that respect.

Tests are time of questioning.  What’s going on?  Why isn’t God coming through?  Yep, that’s all part of it.  Let me explain it this way.  What’s your favorite adventure book or movie?  What if all you did was skip to the end, to the “happy” part?  It would save time.  You’d never have to see your favorite characters suffering.  You could see evil defeated right away.  But really would that be an interesting story?

What would we have to have to overcome if God just waved his magic wand like your personal genie?  You and I are used to our own fastpaced culture where results are instantaneous.  That’s not how process works though.

When I took up martial arts was when I started understanding process over results.  We had to condition our bodies one painful step at a time over a period of time before we saw results.

Basically think of your goals as scaling a mountain, one step at a time, as long as you’re taking those steps.  You can’t jump it all at once.  And maybe others are passing you by, but you will still take those steps.  If you falter, you get up and take the steps again.

Whatever your goals there’s a shift you can take in your thinking which is counter to the fastfood culture.  It’s where you do the uncomfortable, difficult steps toward a goal because of the STEPS THEMSELVES.  You’ve heard the expression, “The journey not the destination.”  That’s where we’re going here.  This is what strengthens you and is the reality in the present.

For instance you want to exercise.  Keep the goal in mind for which directions to take so you know what you want whether to lose weight, feel healthier, whatever.  Take the steps, say you want to run.  The process is the run ITSELF.  Yep, panting, exertion, pain, everything.  As the marines say, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”  Learn to see this in itself as the reward and not just the goal of losing weight or being healthy.  Plus you get a runner’s high as a bonus.  This applies to everything.  Adopt this mindset and just watch what you accomplish over time.

So if you really want the truth you will have to think differently than what the products are selling you.  Instead of “Get ripped abs in 90 days” you can tell yourself, “90 days of intense pain in your abs as well as not eating anything fun.”  If you’d rather avoid that statement than embrace it, then chances are you’re eventually going to give up your goal.

Say you want to start a business, eat healthier food, overcome a fear, whatever.  The resistance will be laziness, fear, impatience etc.  When you overcome these things every day, this is how you’ll be a stronger person.  And you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.  When you fail, as much as it hurts you must take the grace that God freely gives and pick right back where you left off.

When you look at only results you’ll keep wanting to compare yourself with everyone else’s stuff.  That won’t matter once you embrace your own road.

(For the guys: hey wouldn’t it be nice to be so satisfied at your own journey that your external values, whether talents, looks or possessions don’t matter so much?  Because of your growth, you might even be getting in shape or getting a nicer car, but it’s what’s going on inside that’s important.)

When you head on this journey you will be stressed at times, this is good.  You might have to make sacrifices.  Might have to cut out the negative ties, whether that be negative mindsets of television shows, friends, relatives, whatever.  But you’ll find that whoever you lose will be replaced by so much more.  New positive friends and relationships will pop up where you least expect them.  Much of the world will see what you’re doing whether below the surface or not and will support you.  People naturally root for the overcomer, the student from the ghetto doing everything he can to go to school and get good grades, the older single mom trying to quit smoking, etc.

So what do you say?  Ready for the journey?  “Yeah, let’s go with all we’ve got!”  Hold on there buddy, this journey might be harder than you ever realized.  How about take this one step at a time.  Do what you can handle.  You know the things that you need to do.  Let us begin.

Category: Personal Growth | 1 comment

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