Get started; keep going; don’t quit

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “How to inhabit time”
Our Bible verse for today: “Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal …” Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Get started; keep going; don’t quit”
The person I was speaking with sighed and asked, “How do I make myself do it, Jim? I know I need to do this, and I want to do it, but I just can’t seem to get started. And even when I do start, then I don’t stick with it. What’s the answer? How do I do this?”
I’ve heard similar versions of that question more times than I can count. In fact, I’ve been guilty of saying it myself. Whether the speaker is referring to losing weight and getting in better shape; or adopting better spending habits; or a hundred other life issues that we want to clean up, we often have a problem getting started and sticking with it.
Usually when a question like that is asked it’s with a hint of hopefulness that I know of some revolutionary new product, or an amazing new diet program, or a magic pill that can be taken, or a reset button that can be pushed, and presto-chango, the problem is solved.
Sorry. There is no magic pill or bright red reset button. There’s only doing. You just have to do it. And then don’t stop. And I’m not talking about doing it tomorrow, or next week, next month, or next year. I’m talking about doing it now. Don’t procrastinate any longer. Stop making excuses. There is no magic. There’s only doing.
However, although there may not be any magic pills to take or easy reset buttons to push, there is guidance and encouragement available. There are coaches, videos, workout partners, friends who will encourage you, and books you can read. For instance, “Toughness Training for Life” by Dr. James Loehr isn’t a Christian book, but it is a very insightful study into the natural tendencies of our human nature which often inhibit our perseverance and growth. Dr. Loehr teaches us how to get past the procrastination so we can get started, and then how to stick with it once we have started. I think you would find it worth the read.
Often, the thing holding you back from achieving what you want and need to achieve is your thinking. It’s all in your head. And here’s the good news: you can change your thinking. In Philippians 3:13-14 (above) the Apostle Paul was describing an attitude that can easily be applied to all of life. In that particular case he was writing about his disciplined pursuit of Christian growth, but the same attitude applies to any endeavor.
Now is the time to do it. This is the moment. You can train yourself to think differently and you can resolve to be disciplined and to persevere. But you have to stop making excuses. You have to make yourself get started, then keep going, and do not let yourself stop. Just refuse to quit. 
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2023 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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