Welcome to my blog...

Green trees, cool water, a gentle breeze...the perfect place to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. Jesus taught so often on the shoreline, and He's still speaking today.

This is where I share the lessons He teaches me, often during the time I spend on the shores of a local lake. I don't have all the answers...and some days I don't have any. But I go here when I need to draw near to Him in a tangible way. Come with me...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Consistency of Being Inconsistent

Today is February 17th...it has been 48 days since the big shiny ball dropped and shouts of "Happy New Year!" were echoed far and wide.

Almost 7 weeks since I wrote on "Consistency" - my one word for this new year.  

Ever notice the minute you draw a line in the sand or make a declaration, things happen to challenge your stance?.

My goal was...is...to be consistent in every area of my life - nothing like making things easy on myself, right?  While total consistency would be wonderful, Bible reading, exercise, and writing were three areas I highlighted.

Week one and two went great!  I was writing daily and published 5 posts.  I ordered an exercise tape and started working out...I was shooting for at least 3 times a week with an ultimate goal of 5 days.  I was making my breakfast at home instead of eating it in front of my computer at work, packing a daily lunch and opening my Bible each day, reading a devotional, doing a little studying, praying over the scriptures.

And then I got derailed.

I went away for a long weekend.  It was my birthday.  Someone at work retired.  Ministry outreaches needed to be planned.  I visited family down South during an 8-day trip.

With all those things going on...all those special reasons to eat...all those changes to my routine...all those things - even good things - that add pressure...I felt my tenuous commitment to consistency start to slip.   I slept in on work days getting my day off to a rushed start.  I ate too much.  I didn't work out.  I had no time to write.  I didn't open my Bible.  I didn't plan my meals.

Finger by finger I lost my grip. 

Some days I'd try to scramble back on track.  I'd get up and do the exercise tape, but with no dinner planned, I grazed all night long.  I started 5 more posts, but they'll most likely never see the light of day.  The immediacy of what I was writing about has passed.  I didn't read my Bible first thing in the morning, so I'd promise myself I'd do it after breakfast, after the movie, after the visit, right before bed.  Prayers were often relegated to "thanks for the food", or "get us there safe". 

I felt a little like the Dutch boy who stuck his finger in a hole in the dike only to have more and more holes open up as water spilled out everywhere.

 Here I was, 3 weeks in and I couldn't keep it together.

I'm so thankful for the promise in Lamentations 3:22 - 23 "The faithful love of the LORD never ends!  His mercies never cease.  Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning." (NLT emphasis mine).  

I am forever grateful that God's love for me is not dependent on my performance. While my only consistency may be in acknowledging my inconsistency, God is the same yesterday, today and forever...His love is faithful and unending not because of who I am or who I aspire to be but because of who HE is. 

I'm not excusing my lack of follow through.  But I am saying my momentary failures don't rule out hope.  Every day is a new chance to try again.  A clean slate.  A fresh start.  A chance to be more Christ-like.  

A chance to be more consistent.