Sunday, January 9, 2011

Holding Fast and Pressing On Without Results

     It is the beginning of a new year and the round of New Year's resolutions has begun. We are a results driven culture and I am no different.  I want to use my time to achieve, to see things get done, to produce results.  When I start something I know how I want it to end.  I am realizing that much of the time the things we do are less about the result and more about the process.  I am not fond of the process, I want to skip to the results.  The older I get the more I see the process as the goal in many instances.  The end result is just the "carrot" to get us to change. 
     In my physical life this is so very true when it comes to my weight.  I have been working for over 2 years to achieve weight loss.  I have not achieved much.  I do weigh less than I did 2 years ago but I not my "satisfactory" weight let alone my "ideal" weight.  I have worked very hard the last 6 months and the scale says I have achieved a mere 15 pounds on a good day.  I am confronted daily with what I see as my failure.  So when confronted with it, what is my response?  I choose to continue on, yes, I hold fast and press on.  I continue to eat right, continue to take my vitamins, continue to research and read new information, continue to go to the gym and continue to listen to those who know more than I.   I continue on even though I am not experiencing the result I desire.  I then evaluate the process, what is happening as I move toward my goal?  I am noticing changes in how I feel, noticing my clothes fit better, and most of all I am noticing the pain I was living with diminish.  The result is not what I want but the effects of the movement toward the goal are in themselves very rewarding.
     The next question I asked as looked back over the last 6 months is, "Am I doing the same spiritually?"  I have the goal to be more like Christ.  I have been working to achieve this result for 36 years and I am still not there.  So again I am confronted with failure, at times it is more glaring than others, what is my response?  I choose to continue on, again I hold fast and press on.  I continue to study my  Bible, I continue to pray, I continue to chose right behavior and I continue to listen to those who know more than I.  It is a challenge as I evaluate my progress in reaching my goal.  It is so unattainable in my mind that I must remember that I am called to be a follower, to continue my pursuit.  I can't look forward or I become discouraged at how far I have to go. I must look back at where I was and where I am now. I must evaluate my personal progress.  I can't look around at others because they did not begin at the same place I did .  If I see someone who is doing better than I am and closer to the goal I can become discouraged; if I see someone doing worse than I, then I can become puffed up and quit striving. The only standard by which I can measure is that of my own progression. 
   My encouragement to myself and to each of you is to hold fast and press on.  It is not the result that matters at this time but the process and the benefits we gain as we continue on without results.  God will reward those who endure and hold fast not always those who achieve.  I thank God everyday for His grace in this.

May God bless each of you this new year.
Holding Fast and Pressing On,

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