I read an article a while back that disturbed me so much that I saved it in every conceivable place I could think of on my computer. The article was about a Methodist Minister who became an Atheist after over 30 years of pastoring a church. What struck me the most about this story was not that this person quit believing, but how they described the process of being a believer to becoming an unbeliever. They wrote, “It was a very, very gradual process. There was not one single moment where I can look back and say, ah, that was the moment. It was kind of a slow progression.”
Does that bother anyone else besides me?
After I read that comment, the first thing I thought of was the word “drift.” I thought about how easy it is to slowly drift away from the things and the people that had our complete attention at some point in time. It happens all to easily. All we have to do is look at the number of people who join the gym in January after making a New Year’s resolution to live a healthier lifestyle; or, look at the number of marriages that end in divorce, or the number of people using prescription and illegal drugs and alcohol to cope with depression. I understand that divorce and depression occur randomly and sometimes for good reason, but the majority could be averted if people got back into the fight and demanded a better life for themselves. Yes, you read that right, I said demanded. Who is going to give you the life you want and deserve if you are not willing to fight for it? Do you think success is just going to be handed to you? Do you think a strong marriage is what happens because you love each other? Do you think that depression and oppression is going to magically go away because you wish it to?
Anyone who knows me, or who has read my column, knows that my faith in God is the foundation on which my life is built. I am all about faith and I am all about prayer and trusting God to provide. However, the Bible says, “faith without works is dead.” (James 2). James goes on to say that “I will show you my faith by my works” that means that we have a part to play in this relationship God. The Bible is rich in metaphors of warfare. It describes the Christian as a Soldier. It also teaches us to “run the race with endurance that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). The word endurance means to keep going no matter what until the race is finished. To endure means to hold out, or sustain without yielding.” We cannot quit !!!
As much as I believe all things work together for the good, I am not naive. Life is hard. Marriage is hard. Not quitting is hard. Standing up for what is right is hard. Loosing weight is hard. Going to the gym is hard. Making the life you want for yourself is hard, but so what ! We would never know joy if we didn’t know sorrow. We would appreciate success if we hadn’t first failed. We wouldn’t know love unless we first had to live without it. Why are so many people willing to accept the deck of cards they are dealt in life? Why are so many people living in bodies they can’t stand to look at in the mirror?
I am here to tell you that you don’t have to live with less that what you want. I have seen to many miracles to believe otherwise. This Saturday, I will be attending a baptism of a girl who was recently released from prison for armed robbery. She was a gang member and she was a client of mine when she was first released from Prison. When she left her re-entry program, everyone thought she would fail and return to the life she knew. But she didn’t. She got a job. She started a relationship with God. She wanted a different life and she is getting a different life. I cannot wait to watch her get baptized on Saturday.
Change isn’t easy. You’re going to have to fight. You’re going to have to endure the temptation to give in. You’re going to have to let go of your ego in order to see your dreams come true, but it really isn’t that hard once you determine that quitting is not an option. I have lost everything in my life, including loved ones and my business. It was very difficult to get through it, but I wouldn’t go back and change one thing. My life is better today than I would have ever thought possible and it is not better because of material possessions. It is better because I am at peace with who I am. My marriage isn’t great all the time, but it’s great sometimes. My income isn’t what I want it to be right now, but it will be soon because I have a goal. My body isn’t what it used to be, I am 47, but I still go to the gym and I eat right 70% of the time.
If you want a better life than the one you have right now, all you have to do is change your mind, that is where it starts. We are what we eat. I believe in that 100%. It is biblical. What we feed our mind is what we will become. You may not know where to begin, but I can help you with that. The point is to just begin and that starts with making a decision to change. If you need a little more motivation, go to www.youtube.com and search for the audio book, “The Power of Vulnerability” by Breñe Brown or order her book “The Gifts of Imperfection.” Just begin by feeding your mind something different, something encouraging and then call me.
Don’t become like the Methodist minister who lost their faith in God after 30 years because she was not paying attention to her life. Don’t be like so many people who drift slowly away from the life they once hoped to have. As long as you’re still breathing, it is never to late to be who you want to be. Just begin.