For my birthday I received the absolutely delightful gift of a Fitbit from a dear friend.
I LOVE it! John says they designed this little gadget with type A, goal-setting, competitive, rule-followers like me in mind.
This magical wristband tracks your activity, sleep, and may even make your breakfast for you (I’m still looking into that).
At least 10,000 steps a day is the target. John just shakes his head and laughs when I jump up and start walking in circles around the kitchen island after my wrist has tingled and a prompt has reminded me I have 75 more steps to go in order to make 250 for the hour. Whatever…It works for me.
But I’ve found this little motivational marvel has some lessons for my faith as well as my physical fitness.
- Things are not always what they seem. Facing the facts is life-giving. Before I had hard data, I assumed some activities were more beneficial than they actually are, and I discounted some that turn out to be valuable. In the realm of the spirit, Satan is the father of lies and will always be distorting, distracting, and discouraging. This is why it is so important for us to “bring every thought captive” to the Truth of God’s Word.
- Intention is crucial. No one drifts into fitness and no one drifts into spiritual maturity. Discipline pays off. Every tiny step of obedience adds up. Evennnnnnntually it will pay off on the scale physically, but more importantly discipline pays off in spiritual transformation over time.
- Intention CAN become legalism. I have been known to run up and down stairs at 11:30 at night just to get in my last hundred steps if it’s been a slow day. I’m such a rule-follower that I need to be careful that I’m more about the big picture than the letter of the law. When a goal, or a task (no matter how good) becomes more important than loving the person in front of me, I need a reset. I also need to be willing to LET IT GOOOOOO. God, our loving Father is all about grace, not shame.
As helpful as this might be for me, writer Chris Rogers points out that Spiritual discipline is more romance than formula. Whatever is going to stir us to greater depths of love and devotion to Jesus is where we need to take our steps. Are you with me?!