Escape the Status Quo
I blamed it on middle-age. Of course I was going to gain a little weight. Wasn’t that what happened to all 40-somethings? I had cut off my friendship with carbohydrates and limited sugary goodies to the weekends; but apparently that news hadn’t been relayed to my midsection.
Exercise was a regular part of my routine. Whether it was time spent on the treadmill, Cybex, or weight-lifting, I was working out consistently. But even exercise wasn’t making much of a difference.
Changing it up
I watched my daughter Riley put in the DVD. It was a Jillian Michaels workout that combined cardio and strength training with abdominal exercise. What a perfect combination! And the workout could be completed in a half hour.
I asked Riley what she thought of it. Her thumbs up approval was all I needed. I was going to give it a try.
Day one was difficult. By the end of the workout, my legs felt like rubber and I was sweating more than I had in months. I was sore in a good way. Maybe gaining weight wasn’t a given after all. Maybe I just had to dig in and challenge myself to work out a little harder than before.
What a simple, yet profound, truth. I don’t have to be average. The status quo doesn’t have to define me. If I’m not satisfied with the results I’m seeing in an area of my life, I can evaluate what I’m doing, make some changes, and experience results.
I’m reminded of the apostle Paul. He was a preacher who saw the bigger picture. His goal was to see the gospel of Jesus Christ spread across the world. Paul became the first New Testament missionary.
The Lord opened doors for him to preach in Derbe and Lystra. On one of his missionary journeys he planned to go throughout Prygia and Galatia, ending in Asia. As he sought God’s direction, it was clear that the Holy Ghost didn’t want him to go to Asia. Paul obeyed and went to Mysia instead.
His next destination was Bithynia. But once again, the Spirit stopped him. Instead of becoming frustrated, Paul yielded his plan to the Lord and God led him to Macedonia where many people were saved.
Whether it’s pushing myself physically or expanding my goals spiritually, I recognize some common principles:
Have a plan – begin with prayer for wisdom and direction
Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established. Proverbs 16:3
Get counsel – before putting your plan in motion, seek the wisdom of others
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14
Implement your plan – be prepared to work hard
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; Ecclesiastes 9:10a
Be flexible – stay in tune with the Lord. Be prepared to change direction if you need to.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Where are you? Do you find yourself settling for the status quo? What step will you take today to see the bigger picture and embrace all the Lord has for you?