It only takes a gentle push. Just a whisper, really. One tip barely touches the next and soon they all collapse. Whether dominoes or our willpower towards a goal, the domino effect is real. If I don’t read my Bible, exercise or eat right today, it becomes easier to slip up again tomorrow. It doesn’t have to be this way.
When dominoes are set up the same way, the cascading chain reaction is inevitable. But occasionally, one refuses to topple. It’s positioned a bit differently or just far enough away from the rest to stand tall when others fall. As Christians, we are different from everyone else because God lives within us. We are set apart by God. We don’t have to fall when pushed. And neither do our goals.
In 2016 here and on the MemoryMinders blog we’ve discussed setting goals, creating hope-filled goals and organizing to move towards those goals. January is a difficult time of year to make progress on new goals. Fatigue-laden whispers and excuses draw me close to worldly dominoes, threatening to make me fall with temptation. It’s too cold, there’s too much to do, too many interruptions and responsibilities-these all create roadblocks on my goal-oriented path.
Instead of allowing worldly temptations to draw us so close we fall, let’s persevere with Jesus as our guide. As Paul tells us in Romans 5:3-5:
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Paul’s usage of ‘confident hope’ was discussed in our Bible study last week, and I love how he uses it to encourage endurance with setbacks or hardships. God never said we’d live without problems, only promised He’d be with us through them. Trusting in that promise, let’s persevere; understanding He’s always with us while we are set apart. Only then can we stand firm like the domino that refuses to fall.
As mentioned previously, the definition of persevere is: persist determinedly-to persist steadily in an action or belief, usually over a long period and especially despite problems or difficulties.
Often, I don’t feel like steadily pursuing steps towards my goals each day; especially when encountering troubles or not seeing immediate results. But I persist determinedly by holding onto Jesus.
I prefer exercising outdoors, so my commitment to exercise loses steam when I am walking on the treadmill instead of in the sunshine. Finding time to menu plan and grocery shop differently to eat healthier is a challenge when busy. But in these moments, I’m reminded of where Paul received his strength as he told us in Philppians 4:13:
13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
I try not to allow the worldly temptations of interruptions, problems, fatigue or excuses deter me from my God given goals. We can do everything through Christ who gives us strength. Using his footprints as a guide, let’s just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Whatever your wellness goal, stay the course. Don’t fall like every other domino. Stand tall by being set apart. Find strength in our Savior as we keep following Him.