Over the past two years my weight has been slowly creeping up. Being more careful with my diet used to help when I gained weight in the past, but this time was different. Despite my efforts to have better eating habits, I was still gaining weight. I tried walking regularly after acknowledging that I’m 45 and at an age where diet alone isn’t enough. However, I wasn’t able to walk enough to make a difference in my weight. I became more discouraged.
Then we spent a week at the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Despite eating MORE that week, I returned home to find that my clothes were finally getting looser! Of course I was delighted about this, but didn’t get it. Why, after months of watching my diet, did my weight suddenly change? I didn’t know but was happy to observe that my weight continued to decrease after getting home from our trip.
I was thinking about this subject again today when it finally dawned on me. My weight had finally responded to my efforts because I did what we used to do in my days of weight training. I had shocked my system by changing my routine. In weight training, when we reached a plateau in our training and our muscles were no longer responding, we shocked our systems by making a temporary radical change to our workouts. Using our muscles in different ways challenged them in new ways and prompted them to respond again.
Yes, this made sense. On our trip we stayed in a beach house that required us to climb three flights of stairs to get up to the kitchen and family room level. I was going up and down stairs many times a day! In addition to that, we climbed to the top of Cape Hatteras Light House, the tallest light house in the U.S. That was a definite shock to my system!
Another shock to my system was my change in eating habits. Although I felt like I ate more, I abandoned my usual not-so-good snack habits and was also getting the extra exercise I mentioned that helped burn off extra calories.
How about you? Are you at a plateau of any kind? How about in your walk with the Lord? Every once in a while I realize that I haven’t felt God in my life as much as usual, or that I haven’t had as many ‘God moments’. When those times happen, it’s not because He’s pulled away from me. It’s because I haven’t kept up the challenge of walking with Him! Or maybe I’ve gotten into a rut doing the same old things but looking for different results. A friend once told me that’s Alcoholics Anonymous’ definition of insanity – doing the same thing over an over and expecting a different outcome.
So what do we do when we reach a plateau in our walk with the Lord? You got it! We shock our systems by making a radical change. Have you ever taken a Bible study? If not, find one that interests you. And if you have been taking studies, try something different.
Are you spending daily time at home with the Word? Find a new daily devotion book (See ‘God’s Purpose for Every Women’, the latest book from the Proverbs 31 Ministry http://www.Proverbs31.org ) or commit yourself to reading a Psalm a day.
How about your prayer life? Could it use a radical change? If so, maybe you could set aside designated prayer time (if you don’t do that already) and pray every day for at least five minutes (more if you’re a prayer warrior). Start a prayer journal or pray in a different way with a new focus or purpose.
What about your involvements? Would it be nice to have new relationships and new involvements? Churches and local charity organizations always have needs for volunteers and ways you can get involved.
Or maybe you’re over committed and would like to make a radical change by decreasing your demands so you have more quiet time for God. If so, that would be a GREAT radical change to make.
Whatever it is that you want to do or feel led to do, commit your efforts to the Lord and they will succeed. (Proverbs 16:4)
Dear Heavenly Father, Please help us to push past the plateaus that keep us from growing closer to You so that we can continue to move forward in our relationship with You. Help us to always find ways to keep You present in our lives and see You in awesome ways. In your Holy name I pray. Amen.