A little over a year ago, I realized that I wasn’t healthy. I was overweight. Too many hours plunked down in front of the TV eating Cheetos or something. So I decided I needed to change that. And how did I do that?
- I asked God for help
- I started making small changes
Often, when trying to change things that have become out of control, we want to make one big change to fix it all. We want a pill. Or a crash diet. Or some magic incantation that will fix it. But that’s not usually how life works.
Big changes are almost always the cumulative result of many small changes (or a few small changes done many times). To lose weight, I made some small changes in my diet and I started exercising daily. Not big changes – but they had to be done consistently. And I had to trust that God would bless my efforts over the long haul.
This year at work I’ve been using some of the “new” health monitor tools. Can you believe that their most-recommended exercise plan is walking? Not running or going to the gym or whitewater kayaking. Walking. Simply because it is a small lifestyle change that nearly anybody can do. It can be practiced consistently. It requires no special equipment, verly little extra time, and very minimal changes to our current lifestyles.
What if you’re spiritually unhealthy? Do the same principles apply?
I believe so. Sure, God can do it all at once. You might go to one retreat and be totally changed. But I suspect that you will have better (and longer-lasting) results if you look for the small changes.
I’m not saying you should avoid retreats or events. Instead, consider them a supplement. Adjust your daily spiritual diet and exercise. Pray a little bit each day instead of a marathon prayer every once in a while. Read the Bible each day – don’t binge for a while and then starve. Meditate on God’s Word daily. Honor those around you every day. Experience joy daily.
Life is not a series of special events. It isn’t an endless stream of fad diets. Life is the power of God’s grace in every day, though every day, with you every day, and sometimes even in spite of every day.
And ask God daily for his grace in your life. Only he can make permenant changes. Only he can bring you spiritual health. But he will likely use small changes to do it.