Thursday, September 24, 2015

Maximize momentum for lasting change

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

     Today I can't stop thinking about this word and really more than that about the FEELING of momentum. Have you ever experienced it? 
     Maybe in an athletic or competitive event? 
     Or even in a day in which you started with a grateful heart and continued to express gratitude? 
     Or perhaps in a challenge you made for pray or go to Bible study or stick to an exercise program? 
     The thing with momentum is that its beginnings have nothing to do with luck or chance, or possibly even desire. They have more to do with discipline. 
     The dictionary defines momentum as the force or speed of movement; impetus, as of a physical object or course of events. 
     But something can't begin moving on its own. 
     Have you ever wanted something really badly but did nothing to make it happen. Except maybe pray. 
     I prayed for a really long time for my body to heal. A lot of tears were shed in desperation. 
     But until I made a decision to ACT, nothing happened. Momentum requires ACTion. Action requires a decision. 
     My decision was that I would finally get "all in" about the clean eating and living I was professing. 
     As I did, I noticed some changes. At first they were small, and then when I reached out to start a nutrition program, the changes got dramatic and very quickly. I required two things for this to be successful: a decision to do it well (discipline) and faith it could help me. 
     With discipline and faith, I took action. With action came momentum. 
     Momentum is exciting, because that change I so desperately wanted was finally unfolding. I could feel it, and I could even see the inner healing on the outside of my body. 
     My faith grew even more. 
     But I never could have gotten there without action. Momentum requires force or speed to be initiated. 
     Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University taught me discipline with money. You may be wondering what this has to do with momentum, but you see, I needed to experience that change is good and that discipline leads to transformation. Once I had discipline with my finances, I decided to read my Bible daily. Once I was reading my Bible daily, I decided to pray daily. My continued commitment to action built my faith as I saw momentum in each area of my life. It played out in my physical life as well. We began meal planning, which requires discipline, and I started running races. In each area, I continued because I saw the positive impacts these actions were having in my life. Those positive impacts were the momentum. Once I got started, nothing could stop me because the reward was tangible at that point. 
     In 2 Timothy 4:7, Paul writes, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 
     It wasn't easy for Paul, as he was thrown in prison and persecuted for his discipline. But his momentum was salvation, not only for himself but for others. He had GOOD NEWS to share and nothing was going to stand in the way of his calling to spread the gospel. 
     Likewise, our momentum doesn't come without some jarring bumps. We get to decide if the pebble in our path will derail us completely, or if we pick it up, toss it out and continue forward. A little perseverance can help build and grow momentum.  With continued faith and decisions to act daily on what we believe is good for us, we can be sure that the fight we fight for will be "good," the races will be finished even if they aren't won and our faith will be preserved even when shaken. 
     Today, I am determined to capitalize on momentum. To lean into it and to not let life's little bumps along the way stop the good thing that God has started. How about you? 

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