I have a stack of magazines and books featuring paths and plans to better health. These books and magazines discuss ways to become stronger, build running endurance, and flatten your stomach. I recently purchased a weight bench and some weights at an auction to add to my fitness bands, ankle weights, fitness ball, and medicine ball. For Christmas two years ago, I got a bike trainer to ride my bike inside during the winter and a couple years before that, I got the P90x fitness regimen. Finally, I have a whole basket full of fitness clothing for warm weather and cold weather. I am outfitted to be a “fit man.” Yet, I continue to be out of shape, lack endurance, and struggle with the battle of the stomach bulge.
Why do I struggle? I have all the necessary equipment and information to be “fit,” yet I am not making any progress. What is the problem? The information and equipment without a clear personalized plan and a commitment to follow the plan is only ink on paper to be filed in a folder and possibly shared with other people. A good idea not put into action is a great mental experiment with no lasting life transformation.
I recently finished reading Hal Elrod’s book, The Miracle Morning. I had heard several podcasters mention this book over the past couple of years. The premise of the book is found in the following questions:
- Are you maximizing your potential and creating the levels of success that you truly want—in every area of your life?
- Are there areas of your life where you’re settling for less than you really want?
- Are you settling for less than you’re capable of, and then justifying that it’s okay?
- Are you ready to stop settling, so you can start living your best life—you know, the life of your dreams?
In 2 Corinthians 8:7 we read, “Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.” I was struck with this word translated “excel” because it means to do more than “enough,” to a place of giving out of our abundance and our best. This is not limited to our financial generosity. It goes to all areas of our lives where we give our all to God. Our excelling is based in our surrender.
We have a myriad of Bible translations, wonderful Christian books, and access to all kinds of preachers and teachers through the internet. We do not lack information in our faith any more than I lack information in the physical fitness arena of my life. Yet, are we excelling? Are we living an “enough” life or a life of abundance? Do we have a plan to take steps in our spiritual growth in 2021?
I want to invite you to consider your daily habits, disciplines, and routines. Would you be willing to get up earlier to spend time with Jesus each morning? Would you be willing to add more time to your daily devotional life? Would you be willing to join a group for Bible Study and Prayer? How will you seek to leave the life of settling for enough to a life of excelling? How will you take the resources at your fingertips to put together a plan to live out an extraordinary life in all areas: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational?
I am committed to making changes (look back to last month’s article on change) and will report regularly to you with my results. I am also praying about gathering a group virtually to participate in a 30-day experience of prayer, study, sharing, and accountability. If you would like to know more about joining me in this experience, I am looking for it to start the week of February 15. You can seek more information or share your interest in this group by contacting me (firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-830-6670).