What a difference a year makes!
That’s not really completely true unless you’re referring to the height of one of your adolescent-aged kids.
For me, I would reflect on this past year and say, “What a difference getting to the gym/trainer 3 times a week and sweating my butt off as I ran, pushed the sled, squatted, did bicep curls, glute bridges, lunges, planks and more for 52 weeks in a row makes!” Now that would be true. The year was going to pass by minute by minute, day by day, month by month no matter what I did or did not do.
Little by little my waist shrunk, my mood lifted, my energy rose, my strength increased, my confidence was built, my food choices improved. I have abs, y’all! I don’t just believe by faith that they are under there; I can actually see them with my eyes!
Little by little.
It’s not the way I would have wanted it to happen. I mean, if I could not go to the gym and not do the hard things Gym Tim told me to do, if I could sit on the couch and eat all my favorite foods and still lose weight and feel great, well then, I would have done that. I am not exactly a person up for a challenge just for the fun of it. But we all know change doesn’t happen overnight.
Change happens as a result of choices made over and over. Levi Lusko has an awesome sermon series entitled “You in Five Years,” and in it he says that ongoing consistency is greater than short-term intensity. I agree.
For example, it would have done me no good to starve myself for two weeks and then give up on that plan because I didn’t see the results I wanted and eating very little is not sustainable.
It would have done me no good to work out for 8 hours five days in a row and then burnout and hurt myself and never go back to the gym.
What helped me get results was plugging along little by little. Driving to the gym when I didn’t feel like it. (Showing up was half the battle!) Once I was there, I would do what I was supposed to do. I might huff and puff and even roll my eyes some times, but I did it! Little by little. No one is an overnight fit and healthy person.
Another way I could fine-tune the “What a difference a year makes” statement is “What a difference getting up early and starting my day in God’s Word almost every day of this year makes.” I was able to read through the entire Bible this past year, and I cannot even begin to put into words all the Lord did in my heart and soul. Truth is, I can’t see all that will come of that time sown in His Word. But I know I never wasted a second when I was reading Scripture, meditating and praying. Again, the year would have ticked along whether or not I started my day with God. I am so thankful God is so faithful and loving and draws close to His children. Little by little is the road of sanctification. No one is an overnight spiritual superhero.
Lusko also tell his audience that in five years you will just be an exaggerated form of current you. Are you kind to people? You will likely be more kind in five years if you keep heading in that direction. Are you greedy? You will likely be more greedy in five years if you keep heading in that direction. Are you generous? You will likely be more generous. Are you overweight? Unless you change some things, you will likely be more overweight. Are you healthy and fit? You will likely be even more fit in five years if you keep it up! Are you a complainer? You will likely be even more a complainer unless you decide to change.
Change is possible! I am living proof in the area of health. Man, I was unhealthy and mentally in a not-good place this time last year. It has encouraged me to keep on keeping on because little by little you can change. Little by little. Step by step. Morning by morning. The year will pass no matter my choices. I pray I am able to keep making good ones! There is always room for improvement and growth. YOU CAN DO IT!