There’s safety in routine; safety and security.
When nothing can really surprise you, nothing can really alarm you either.
So we get used to the same television shows playing out the same formulas at the same time every week, ordering the same food from the same take out places, going over the same routine, morning, noon and night.
The problem is that when we’re stalled like this, creating momentum for change can be a tricky proposition, and a push isn’t quite enough to get us going again. And when push comes to shove, most of us don’t get going—we stay right where we are, and we stay exactly the same.
We tend to be in love with the idea of change (Excitement! Visionary ideas! Rousing speeches! Don’t just bore us, get to the chorus!), but not with the steps it takes to get to where we want to be.
Inertia can be a powerful thing to overcome. It’s a natural state of matter, to remain unchanged—but we are supernatural creatures.
We love to hear the word of God in meetings and at church. We want impartation, promises made and prophecies spoken. It’s a dynamic environment compared with our everyday lives, riding a storm compared to rowing on a calm sea. Who wouldn’t be invigorated? Who wouldn’t feel energized?
And then we have to make it happen, and making things happen involves change.
A change of lifestyle, or a change in perception. Maybe a change of career, or a change in location.
Whatever the specifics, it involves us taking that dynamic feeling and applying it to a dynamic process—because if we could get to where we need to be without moving, we’d already be there. And we’re not.
But so much of the time, that dynamic energy drains away somewhere between the altar and the street. We want new, but we think old.
We settle back into our lives and it’s back to business as usual. And that’s upsetting!
We can see it happening, and it leaves us discontented. Negative feelings come stealing into our lives, because we remember the energy we had, and we feel like we’re letting someone down… usually ourselves.
We love the feeling; but we need to learn to love the process.
Every day we work on achieving the goals the Spirit has set for us is an opportunity to take a step towards it.
Today’s society is so focused on the immediate, on instant gratification, that the slow, steady consistent progress towards reward has fallen out of favor. I should be able to buy this thing now, not save for it. If that book doesn’t grip me in the first ten pages, I’m throwing the thing away.
Life in the Spirit is always, fundamentally, about the process of becoming more in Jesus.
Like a happy marriage, we partner with God in the process of our transformation. That takes work—we shouldn’t be disillusioned when the honeymoon is over.
But the work is reward in itself. The process of change is a gift to us, a series of footsteps that allow us to look back every day and see, marked in the sand, evidence of just how far we’ve come.
And Jesus is all about consistency, and constancy.
He’s in the whirling, creative energy of the storm, but He’s also in the steady beat of the oars on the calm sea and the quiet joy of constant movement towards your destination.
All forward motion counts, whatever the speed.
We love the promise of God in our lives, the sense that He has great plans for us.
We have to learn to love the process that enables those promises to be fulfilled just as much. To apply momentum to everything we do, to become everything we want to be.