Who Are We? Where Are We?

Who are we?

My usual habit on a Saturday morning is to read my way through the newspapers.  Most commonly, I find at least one or two articles that wrap me around the axle of outrage or intrigue.  I used to scavenge for the inspiring human interest stories, but they are fewer and fewer these days.  I’ve long since abandoned the notion that the newspaper would be a happy read.

Today was no different.  The front page of the Los Angeles Times has a story about Libya, the earthquake devastation in New Zealand, President Obama’s Middle East Policy reform , human rights violations in China (this time not about the governments, but about the people oppressing one another), California’s deficit, a fallen fireman, and of course, the front page wouldn’t be complete without one more unsavory comment about Charlie Sheen.  Profound despair in every story.

And I ask myself, “Who are we?”  Specifically, who is the church?  Twenty-two pages of stories chronicling despair, pain, unrest, and abuse and the church speaks not a word. The only resemblance to religious hope is found on the last page, “Food Fighter”–an interview with Jamie Oliver and his passion for “converting skeptics and unbelievers” to embracing healthy foods in schools and homes.

But what good does it do to feed the body if the soul dies a little each day?

The headlines are depressing.  Do we care?  Do we have hope to offer?  Where is the church?  How come she isn’t doing anything newsworthy?  The world may be “smaller,” but I fear the church is more distant now then ever from the cries of humanity. Just this last week, two believers were martyred by Somalia pirates and yet very little was said.  Who stood up to say they would take their place in being carriers of hope?   Could it be that we have so much information that stories like these just get reduced to paper and ink?  Or maybe it’s because we daily throw out the paper and we forget that the stories it contains are not disposable–the lives it represents will continue on in their pain even when they cease to be “newsworthy.”

The days are short.  I pray we don’t get distracted with the plans for Oscar parties and miss the hurting, helpless, and hopeless who need our concern and prayers.  I remember as a child asking my daddy why he read the paper everyday, “It always gives you something to pray about.” Church, are we praying?  Are we willing to become part of the answers to those prayers?  It was always the idea that the world should need the church; need her for times like the ones in which we currently find ourselves.

So who are we?  Do we care?  If so, where are we?

Can People Trust You?

Trust (noun):

reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

Trust is something for which most of us long.  We treasure those in our lives that we know speak the same of us when we are not in the room as they do when we are.  We esteem those whose are good for their word.  We understand how rare it is to be surrounded by others who we can put full confidence in their transparency; their support; their faithfulness.

Unfortunately,  I find it more and more common for trust to be as old fashioned as grandma’s party line telephone.  (My grandmother actually had a party line…oh the eavesdropping we did…but that’s a story for another day.)

Why is mistrust such a prevalent theme in life. With all the increased means of communication and visibility (via the internet, primarily), one would think that we would have higher levels of trust.  Yet, it’s not the case.

Do you think it’s because we are all living with so many hiding spots and loopholes?

Think about how many hiding spots exist.  Social networks allow you to create a online personae that can be completely disconnected from your real self.  Who of you will have any idea if what I write about here finds any reality in my life? Hiding spots are more than just staying out of the public eye.  Hiding spots can be self-promotion of exaggerated egos, false humility, feigned friendship, secrets, and undisclosed agendas.

If a hiding spot can’t be found, you can avoid personal authentication through a loophole.  One ramification of living in a litigious society is that we have all learned that no matter the responsibility, a loophole can always be found to avoid ownership.  Nobody has to get pinned with anything.  (Which is really so silly since “I’m sorry” is just not that hard to say.) Common loopholes are blaming, staging, pretending to have not understood and playing the victim.

The problem is that hiding spots and loopholes find a way of seeping down into our personal relationships.  Like foam that rises to the top, our relationships suffer from the weakness of integrity and moral ambiguity that our hiding spots and loopholes nurture. We stop speaking honestly and genuinely.  Hard conversations get avoided because parties understand commitment to relationships are no longer needed.

I’m concerned about what this is doing to our churches.  The early church was marked by their sincere and devoted love to one another.  We still say we do that.  But we’ve made it too easy on ourselves-we let online definitions of ‘love’ and Hollywood superficiality define what the church should be defining for the culture.  How many people in your church can biblically define the love Jesus commanded?  If so, can they point to its substance in their life?

Would you agree that part of the reason the ‘world’ doesn’t trust the Church is because there’s no integrity in the love they espouse?   (And yes this probably includes your church, don’t deceive yourself…I talk to too many people and read too many blogs of those who are see right through many of the slick lines.  People know when they are loved.)

I don’t trust people whose words don’t match their actions. The apostle Paul has a habit in his writings of using the phrase, “here is a trustworthy saying…”  He then goes on to describe the actions of the subject of his writing.   (Usually the subject is Jesus, but one time it is the elders of the church.)

It matters that people trust us. The responsibility of being a trustworthy person falls on you…on me.  We need to be done with our talk (especially our double speak) and we need to start connecting the dots of our beliefs with our everyday, hiding spot free, and loophole absent actions.

Where will you begin?  With whom?

Are You Sleepy?

It’s easy to get sleepy.

I have long since discovered that the circumstances of an event in no way condition my attentiveness to them.  I can be reading the best book and still nod off.  I have fallen asleep on the most entertaining of speakers.  No matter how close to the edge of my seat a show may lead me, it’s not uncommon to find myself waking up the next morning wondering how it ended.  I always pass judgment on the disciples for falling asleep on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, but He and I both know how often I have repeated their folly. 

I posed the question here yesterday about how to stop evil without becoming evil.  This was a question generated by my study of the Parable of the Weeds Among the Wheat.  (If you’re not familiar with the text, see my previous post.)   No one would contest the fact that there is evil in the world–we see it in every new’s medium, and occassionally confront it on our own hearts. 

So how should disciples of Jesus live, those who for the present struggle with life in the tension of the is and not yet kingdom reality?  How do they respond to evil? 

One response formulated by the parable is obvious:  Understand that evil is for God and His agents to judge.  Know that there is a coming judgment. 

That comforts me.  Yet within the whole counsel of truth, I understand that I don’t just exist for my own comfort.  So, the parable begs another question:  Do I sit back with no response to evil just because I know that judgment is coming for those who do evil?  Furthermore, the parable has an omnious warning:  The wheat and weeds can look identical.  In fact, if not carefully discerned, the weeds would be harvested by a farmer and he would not know it until the weeds molded his flour. 

The careful reader–and the respondent disciple–must take this warning seriously.  Kingdom living in the not yet fully present kingdom requires alertfulness.  Note carefully, Matthew 13:25–

But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went away.

Parables teach us about the kingdom, so I don’t believe that this is in reference to a physical sleep–but a spiritual sleep; a drowzy approach to life that the apostles frequently warn against in the New Testament writings. I believe the church, especially in America, has fallen into a it-can-never-happen-to-us induced coma. 

I’m not usually one for doom and gloom.  Yet I have been reproached by the Spirit this week for my own casualness.  I have been watching the ticker tape of prophetic warnings go unnoticed by many church leaders.  The weight of this is such, that I feel compelled to speak up…even if at the risk of you thinking I’m becoming theatrical.  Trust me, I don’t want to be this messenger.  I like California Casual; where it’s “all good” and everyone goes with the flow.

It’s easy to get sleepy.  It’s dangerous to mistake our circumstances wrongly.  Maybe we think that because we’re going to church on Sunday, or helping the poor, or we’re a leader in the church that we’re all doing everything right.  That all the problems belong to those weeds–the other guys.  We get sleepy with our standards for ourselves–we justify, we rationalize, sometimes we might even spin the truth to make sure that no one wakes up to what’s really going on.  And while God’s men sleep, the enemy plants seeds.

So what do we do?

1) Identify where you are prone to sleepiness.  In discussion with my dear friends on Friday we made a list of our own areas of apathy–those things/conditions in life that lull us into a false sense of safety or immunity.  We included pride & arrogance, comfortability, busyness, luxuries, self-righteousness, and rationalization.  How about you? 

2) Get alert!  Listen to emphatic exhortation of the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians:

While they are saying “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of the light and sons of day.  We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober…But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. ~I Thessalonians 5:3-8

 Don’t get me wrong:  I do proclaim the sovereignty of God.  I do trust in His coming judgment.  I am confident that He will one day set right all that is wrong.  But these truths cannot be responded to passively.  They ought to wake us up!  Call us to action!  Judgment is not ours…but we ought to live as those who will be judged. 

We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  See that no one repays evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.  ~I Thessalonians 5:14-15

Whatever you do, dear friend, don’t doze off!  I need you to be awake; to help me stay alert.  For the sake of one another, we all need to have our eyes wide open.  

Are you sleepy?

Question of the Day: How Do You Stop Evil?

How can we stop evil without becoming evil in the process? 

I’ve shared snapshots along the way of my study through the parables of Jesus.  This week I’ve been studying Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43–The Parable of the Wheat and The Weeds.

Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.  But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.  The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’  And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’  But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.  Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” …Then He left the crowds and went into the house And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”  And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.   So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father He who has ears, let him hear.”

Klyne Snodgrass (Stories With Intent, 2008) summarizes the point of the parable as being about God’s coming judgment.  His kingdom has been brought, but it is incomplete since evil still exist in the world.  However, judgment is coming.  “The parable conveys that judgment belongs to God and His agents, not to humans.”

Snodgrass concludes with, “We cannot be tolerant of evil, but the destruction of evil is not our task.  We must stop being evil, and we must stop evil from destroying, but how can we stop evil without becoming evil in the process?  That may well be the human question.”

The news abounds with stories of vengance.  Churches and communities are easily ripped apart by blame storming.  Witch hunts and inquisitions fill our history books.  Anyone who has ever had anything unjust happen to them knows far too well the temptation to repay evil with evil.  We pound our fists in anger when the bad guy gets away or the good guy suffers unjustly. 

Did you ever suffer an injustice?  Has something evil happened to you?  How did you respond?  How did you guard your heart from growing bitter? 

How can we stop evil without becoming evil in the process? 

How do you answer?

Greater than Our Forgetfulness

I’m prone to forgetfulness.

Mind you, I never forget useless trivia, failures, and disappointments.  These details of life get worn around my heart like tarnished trinkets on a bracelet.

My forgetfulness is much more dangerous.

I forget the words of truth…and those whose speak them, the victories won, and the faith-that-moves-mountain moments.  I forget that I have been “drawn with chords of love.” 

When I do, I falter.  I feel alone.  I feel defeated.  Actually, inside I faint and hide my fear behind screens and excuses.  Profound fear that God will not come through. 

And faith shrivels up a thousand deaths as I let my circumstances condition my convictions about God.

I forget the mighty acts of God in my life.  His voice grows faint behind the thick wall of other’s opinions.  His favor gets lost in the sting of other’s betrayals.  I shove His truth into such a small box that I can’t find where I sat it down. 

I have been camped out in this dangerous wilderness of forgetfulness.  Lost.  I believed I had penetrated the deeps of the forest so no search and rescue could find me.   Yet…you can run from truth, but He will find you.

When He does, He will tell you what you need to remember.  What you must recall to get back on the path.  He will remind you of who you are, what He has done for you, and what He requires you to do.

His remembrances always speak a greater truth to our forgetfulness.  Always. 

“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Arise, proceed on your journey…’  Now, what does the Lord require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and soul, and to keep the LORD’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding for your good.  Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.  Yet on your fathers did the LORD set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them, even you above all peoples, as it is this day…For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the LORD of lords, the great, the mighty, and awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.  He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.  So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.   You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name.  He is your praise and He is your God, who has done great these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen”  (Deuteronomy 10:11-21).

Like a child, my heart shouts, “I know, I know, I know!”  And I do…but I forget. 

Thank you, LORD, for being my remembrance!  Help me to walk out of this foggy forest in the strength of Your truth.

Drawing the Line

Lines.

As children we were taught how to color inside them.

As teenagers we practiced how to cross them.

As adults we recongize the importance of having lines; boundaries.

Those lines that say,

“Stop!”

“No more.”

Lines that declare,

Autonomy.

Importance.

Value.

Safety.

Sometimes we draw lines for others

     …to keep them safe.

Other times we draw lines for ourselves

     …to keep us safe.

There are different kinds of lines: Battle lines, laugh lines, and finish lines.

Everyone has and needs lines, but recognizing where we need them, and how to draw them is not always easy. 

I’ve drawn lines before.  One line I drew with platinum & diamonds when I called my man my husband.  I’ve drawn lines with loyalty to defend friends in need of faithfulness.  I’ve drawn lines with convinction to stand for what I know is right.  Many lines I have drawn with humility on bended knees.  I don’t regret any of the lines I’ve drawn.  When viewed in panoramic, they outline the clearest picture of who I am.

Today I need to draw a line; create a symbol for the emotional threshold that needs its space…its safety…its peace. 

The only question I still haven’t answered is if it will be in the sand or in the cement.

How about you?  What have you learned about drawing lines?  Any that you regret?

Was Jesus a Fundie?

This is a quick I-have-to-get-the-question-out-there moment.    I need your help…really, I want to hear your ideas. 

I’m reading Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World.  Not because I really want to be reading it; I’m required to read it for class. 

I know reading this and wrestling with the issues is good for me…but it’s really discomforting.  Really. discomforting.

I keep asking myself questions like, “Am I fundie?”  “What would Jesus think of all these views if they had been postulated back in Palestine?”  “What kind of parable would He tell to knock sensibility back into the conversation?”  “Was Jesus a Fundie?”

Now mind you, I have a very Fundamental background, so I’m not afraid of the big, bad, scary Fundies.  I know they’re soft-hearted; but their compassions often get obscurred by their convictions in a Anabaptist similar way.  Yet, for the most part, their convictions are usually pretty right on, as far as representing what the Scriptures seem to be saying.  (Yes, I take exception to that generalization…but that’s another post, or at least it has been other posts.)

I suppose I’m displaying my naivette, but how would Jesus respond to the Normative Pluralist–the ones who believe that all ethical religions lead to God?  Or to the Inclusivist–salvation is universally available, but will lead to Christ?   How would Jesus draw them back to the essence of the cross?

I find myself drawing a hard line on this…read, a very judgmental line. (Which makes me fear I might be a Fundie!  Oh the Fundie confusion of it all!)  I believe in salvation in Christ alone.  Period.  It seems this is the line in the sand over which Jesus didn’t allow the toes to cross.  I hate it when people draw hard lines, but I think I would rather hate myself for joining them on this issue than be wrong about it.

Anyone out there wrestle with this issue?  Where do you land in the conversation and why?

Holiness: The Family Way

I love it when an idea I’ve been dancing around finally “clicks.”

This happened for me last night while I was sitting in church.  The pastor was preaching on the holiness of God; teaching how God’s holiness has implications for His people.

In short: God is holy and His holiness cannot be contaminated with anything unholy. God’s holiness requires that He be separate from anything unholy.  That’s a problem for us–because we are a most unholy bunch.  Not one among those of whom the world calls righteous lives up to God’s standards of perfection. Only Jesus.    Jesus brings a reconciliation plan for unrighteous man to be restored to the holy presence of God.  Thus, the sacrifice of Calvary–the blood shed for the institution of the new covenant…of which you and me can be a part of.

I’ve understood this on a personal level for some time, but last night my mind made an association it had not before.

Strangely, from the moment the Power Point title page of “Set Apart” flashed on the screen I started thinking about one of my favorite verses:

“God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” (Psalm 68:6)

Family is one of the most beautiful of God’s creations. I have spent much of my adult life studying the family–what the Scriptures say about it, what makes one work well, and what makes one struggle.  My own family is dear and precious to me beyond words.  My heart grieves the loss of dear people in my life whose families are painful places for a number of different reasons.    I love that one of the names for the church is the “family of God.”  I rejoice that God’s commitment to the generations is expressed in families–be they birth families, step families, adoptive families or church families.  Recently, I’ve become involved with dog showing and I’ve noticed the familiar fondness the members of the club demonstrate for one another.   The power of family is so strong that you will find them everywhere.  Somehow as part of God’s design, families complete us.

As it was for Adam in the garden, it is not good for man (or woman) to be alone, and so God sets us in families.

And those families and their love change us.  Families have a “way” about them; a style that is all their own. My own family is quirky.  We laugh a lot–and loudly–usually at inappropriate places and times.  People stare at us, and none of us care.  We fight to the death over things we believe true, but hold on with sweet grace to one another.  My contagious case of stubbornness has been caught by my children, as has too their father’s tenderness.   To be a member of our family is to act in such a way as to represent the family name.

Being a member of the family of God works the same way.  We have been “set” into God’s holy family.  Participation in it means we are going to adopt the ways of God.  Not through effort and striving, but through the bonds of love that imitation can’t resist.  I’ve never met a woman who was “trying” to be like her mother.  No, quite the contrary!  But we can’t resist the draw to imitate those traits with which we have been most accustomed.

Holiness is the family way.  In point of fact, we were all lonely being separated from God.  “God sets the lonely in families.” Because of Jesus, we can be reconciled with the Holy One.  He sets the sinner in holiness. Not our own, but Christ’s–He gives us Christ’s righteousness and calls it ours!  And so, we can pray “Our Father in heaven, holy is your name.”    As my own children can’t help but demonstrate their belonging to our family name, so too, we children of God demonstrate His. Holiness is the family way.

How will your express the family way today?

Clarity

I love clarity.

Clarity–(noun)
1. clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.
2. the state or quality of being clear or transparent to the eye; pellucidity: the clarity of pure water.

If ever I become President, my first initiative would be to have mandatory infusions of clarity for every politician, theologian, and organizational leader.  If only such a thing were possible!  Oh, what a beautiful world this would be.

Or would it?

This week for my Parable Bible Study, we explored the Parable of the Seed:

The Parable of the Growing Seed

26 “He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”    (Mark 4:26-29)

The line that gets my heart all contorted is “although he does not know how.”  There’s no clarity in that!

Parables are Jesus’ way of teaching about the kingdom of God.  Just as His disciples wanted to know then, we today want to know:  What is the kingdom of God and how can I belong to it?   This parable in particular reveals that the kingdom of God involves a process. The seed is scattered, there is a time of unseen growth, followed by the seen growth and eventual harvest.  While theories abound as to what the seed and harvest may be, the point of the parable is focused on the process.

It is about the mysterious necessity of faith.  The kingdom of God requires an acceptance of “not knowing how,” but an assurance in the heart that “it does.”

I like my assurances to come with more substance than “I don’t know.” I like plans, especially detailed plans.  I like it when plans are executed accordingly.  But this doesn’t really require much faith, does it?

I don’t like not knowing if my mom will be healed of her cancer.  Or if my sons will walk faithfully in their heritage of spiritual upbringing.  Or what my life is going to look like in three years.  Will God keep my nephew safe in Afghanistan? Will I always have this annoying autoimmune issue?  Will I ever be all that I believe God wants me to be?  Am I where God’s wants me to be, doing what He wants me to do?   I wish I knew these things, and much more.

Think about it:  When are you most apt to have the most faith?  When a crisis hits and you don’t know the solution or its resolve.  Right?   And then when the crisis is “over, we’re so relieved.  We check “exercise faith” of the list of things to do.  I think we get this wrong.  Maybe when we have a  kingdom mindset we can welcome all the questions and unknowns as our way of  participating by faith in the mystery of God’s activity in our life,  even if we can’t see it…yet. If you’ve ever had a doctor give you potentially bad news, or received a foreclosure letter in the mail, or held a pink slip in your hand, or had a spouse walk out for good, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

As I look freshly through this parable, I can see how much for what we ask of God…and expect of Him, really requires very little faith.  So many of us, myself included, want the all-powerful God to act in our lives in such a way that we would scarcely need faith at all. No, none of us want the “night” of unseen growth–we just want God to wave a wand and plant full-grown oak tree.  Righteousness, peace, and joy–all virtues of the kingdom–take time to grow.

Maybe it’s safe to say that in matters of faith, clarity is antithetical to the kingdom mindset. This is discomforting to my flesh, but deeply satisfying to my heart.  How?  I’m not really sure–it just is. “…the seed sprouts and grows, though {she} does not know how.”

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

How about you?  Do you find discomfort in the mysterious ways of God?

(If you’re looking for a scholarly study on the parables, I highly recommend Stories with Intent by Klyne Snodgrass.)

Struggling Not to Struggle: Change is Hard Work

It has been 42 days and twelve hours since I had my last Diet Coke.

…and I still instinctively reach for one at least three times every. single. day.

I gave up Diet Coke for the obvious reasons.  Anything that contains ingredients you can’t pronounce without getting tongue-tied is inevitably going to be bad for you.  As I have spent the last several years trying to get the upper hand on an autoimmune disorder, I was well aware that the three to four cans of Diet Coke I was drinking daily were not helping.

Yet there was another reason I gave up the Diet Coke:  One day it dawned on me that I was not drinking it because I was thirsty, or liked the flavor, or needed a caffeine boost.  I drank it because it was a habit. Around 11:00 every morning I would zombie up myself and stumble for the nearest can I could find. Quite simply, I drank Diet Coke because I had been drinking it for years and the brain was on auto-pilot.

Since trying to awaken myself to a new habit of not drinking that can of obsession, I have spent an inordinate amount of time reflecting on habits, change, and what it takes to be the best version of one self. Where else in my life are bad habits whittling away family relationships, work performance, and most importantly my devotion to Christ?

Through this, I’ve determined if you want to be the best version of you–whether that’s you personally, or you as the representative of a family or organization–it’s going to take hard work to change.  In the development of habits, the ones that are unhealthy are the ones of which you are least aware.  What are the things you find yourself just doing because you do them?  Are those actions contributing toward the person you want to be?

If you are looking to be healthier in your personal world, your work world, or your social world, you will need to take some radical steps in a different direction. Your make-over won’t just happen.  Even if you take a step in the right direction today, you must resolve to take that step every single day. Once is not enough.   You will need all the courage and conviction you had on day one and you will have to exert constant energy toward your goal. If you’re really making a change from old to something new it should feel like you’re rowing up-stream.  Are you struggling to keep pointed in the direction of your goal?  Or are you just floating along with the current of old habits?

It’s so easy to slip right back to where you started.  No difference.  No change.  Just the status quo…no matter how unhealthy that may be.

Where are you needing resolve?  To what are you inclined to slip back into?  My little can of Diet Coke is teaching me what a mighty big challenge change can be. I understand your weariness and frustration.  I get how silly it feels struggling not to struggle.   But don’t give up!  Keep going!  Give it all  you have got!