Sometimes the most powerful lessons You are teaching me, Lord, start out in the most subtle ways. Almost like an afterthought.
Case in point: Your lessons lately about the Power of Declarations.
I had asked for Your help in getting my “temple” — my body — into a better (healthier) place. Thankfully, You didn’t have to hit me with a 2 X 4 this time to turn my attention to the five areas You wanted me to focus on:
1) Nutrition; 2) Hydration; 3) Exercise; 4) Sleep; and 5) TV Watching (since it was adversely impacting the other four).
At first I was just going to list (as bullet points) some outcomes in each area — e.g., less sugar, more fruits and veggies, eight glasses of water a day, exercise five days a week, sleep eight hours, reduce TV watching. This wasn’t Rocket Science. I knew the key areas that would be beneficial to me.
But then came the “afterthought.” It was so subtle, I almost missed it. But I didn’t… because You wouldn’t let me.
You whispered, “No bullet points. Make a declaration in each area.” So I did.
“I will fuel my body with nourishing food — no excess sugar, no excess saturated fat, more fruits and vegetables.”
“I will drink eight glasses of water per day.”
“I will get adequate exercise to become physically fit.”
“I will get eight hours of sleep per night, with a goal of ‘lights out’ by 10:00 PM.”
“I will monitor and manage my TV watching wisely, redeeming my time (not wasting it).”
And I began repeating those Declarations every morning, out loud… along with Scriptures that seemed to under-gird them.
“… faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ…” (Romans 10:17)
I didn’t just declare them out loud every day. I measured my results. Did I achieve it or not? How close did I get? What got in the way?
Day after day, I made these Declarations out loud. At first, I had to read them. How else would I remember? But then a funny thing happened: Before I knew it, I had memorized them. They were in me. So I knew, on some level, they were guiding my thinking. Informing my choices.
I noticed something else, Lord. I was consistently successful in some areas (e.g., nutrition and exercise), but consistently unsuccessful in other areas (e.g., hydration and sleep). So my daily “report card” had both A’s and F’s. Yikes! 🙂
Except there was no feeling of failure. So I didn’t give up… and I didn’t stop measuring my progress (or lack thereof).
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
Finally, this week, I had a BREAKTHROUGH!!!
It may seem like a little thing, but for me it was HUGE! I had been consistently drinking only four glasses of water a day. So I was perpetually dehydrated. I could feel it. And I was plagued with all of the side effects that come with such lack of hydration.
TMI! (Too Much Information!) 🙁 🙂
Day after day, I kept repeating that Declaration: “I will drink eight glasses of water per day.” And day after day, I kept marking my “scorecard” four, four, four glasses of water. This went on for ten weeks. Until suddenly, I didn’t want to settle for the status quo any longer.
“The definition of insanity: Doing the same things you’ve always done, and expecting different results.”
So I made a new plan. I thought about when I would need to drink each glass to get all eight in before bedtime. Then, I pulled a Nike — I just began to DO IT. For the last three days, I have had EIGHT GLASSES of water each day!!!
“Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to His anointed. He answers him from His heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of His right hand.” (Psalm 20:6)
It’s so true, Lord: Small things taken in the right direction produce great results!
Pondering the implications…