Stay With It

It’s the New Year, and many of us started it with resolutions.  Even if you don’t call it “resolution” because you’re a cool kid and resolutions are so 2016, whatever you call it, you probably have a list of things you hope to change or accomplish this new year.

I’d like to give you some food for thought.

Firstly, you need to clearly understand the nature of what you are trying to accomplish.  This is important, because some things you have to conquer, others you have to manage.

Things you conquer, are things with a finish line; an end in sight.  You want to read 10 books this year.  Cover to cover (you know I had to say that). You want to go abroad. You want to build something (A chair? A table? A spaceship so you can go abroad?).  These are things with an end in sight. Once you do them, you won’t have to revisit them.  You reach the end, and you can say “it is finished.”

Things you manage are things that, even though you might set a deadline for an ideal state of affairs, you’re never really finished, because they require constant management.  Things that fall into this category are: your health, marriage, a promotion at work, a business idea.  If you have a fitness goal, once you reach it, you have to stay with it.  If your marriage needs some TLC, it’s not a one date-night and a dozen roses fix. You have to become better, and stay with it.  If you applied for a promotion, or you are hoping to start a business, once you get there, you have to stay with it.

Decisions are like intentions, in the way that their true consequence is attached to what follows.  You can decide to get healthy and drive straight to McDonald’s.  You may intend to be a good spouse, and then proceed to belittle and take your spouse for granted.  Decisions, intentions, resolutions, goals, whatever you call it, only work if you stay with it.

Do you know what kind of fruit you want your life to bear? – the person you want to be, the life you want to lead, and the future you want to build.  If you do, you need to make sure that you are connected to the right root, because the right root will bear the right fruit.

In the book of John chapter 15, Jesus said, I am the vine, you are the branches, if you abide in me you will bear lasting fruit (I’m paraphrasing).  For a tree to bear good fruit, it needs a good environment, but much more importantly, it needs good nutrition.  It is only going to bear fruit if it has a good source and the vine is able to deliver nutrients to its branches.  A tree that has a healthy root and delivery system can weather storms, floods, and winds.

Maybe, in the past, you’ve tried what you are trying right now.  Maybe this is your 4th time doing Whole-30, or you are the Paleo master.  Maybe you’re about to pick up the same book for the third time.  Why have you failed to reach your goal in the past? Was it an unexpected storm? A flood? Strong winds that detracted you?  Or was it your root system?  Or were you a loose branch trying to bear fruit?  In other words, were you in the wrong environment, or were you connected to the wrong source?

From personal experience, when I look back at my life, the times I didn’t “stay with it” happened not because of what was on the outside.  I may have used external factors as an excuse, but really, it was internal.  Internal conflict, insecurity, lack of belief, among other things.

This year, be honest.  Open your heart and plans to God wholeheartedly in prayer.  Consider the words of Jesus in John 15, and take a look at your internal systems. Take inventory, and make a decision that you are going to bear good fruit by getting connected to the good source.

Once you do, stay with it.

-JD

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