It can be changes in the body, like building muscle or losing fat. It can be changes in mindset, like replacing old thought patterns with new ones. It can be changes related to food, and the habits we establish and maintain around consumption. It can be in relationships, and how we handle our responses to others. It can be letting go of the reigns on our life and allowing God full access and control to every aspect of who we are. But change seems to require phases of breaking down, making new, molding, and shaping.
The thing is, I’m not sure many people think of this part of the process as ACTUALLY part of the process. I speak for myself when I say I have typically gone into things expecting it to JUST WORK and then wonder why I get frustrated the moment I encounter resistance. Why isn’t the fat coming off and the muscle going on faster than it is?! I mean I have been working out for several weeks/months now! Why do my thoughts automatically go there? I should know better than to think that by now. Seriously, why do I ALWAYS go to food or sometimes a glass of wine when I get stressed? I know the chocolate, cereal and wine aren’t going to get me where I want to go. Why does this person frustrate me so bad? I’m a Christian I’m always supposed to love and be compassionate. Why is it so hard to just give it all to God? I know that is what He desires, as well as I.
What I have learned is the resistance experienced is the challenge between who we are or have been, and who we desire to be. But instead of viewing it as a continuum where we evolve from one place to another over time, we expect that the intellectual knowledge we have, should immediately become reality. Change takes time. It takes time to break down the muscle, build it, mold and shape it over and over again, week after week. It takes time to stoke the metabolism to a place of fat burning at its finest. It takes time to consciously break down unhelpful thought patterns and mindfully replace them with new ones both beneficial to molding and shaping our emotional and physical well-being. It takes time to retrain the body and mind to look to other habits like prayer, meditation or yoga in stressful times rather than sugary fat calories. It takes time to allow our emotional well-being to be positively affected by our new habits and not allow certain relationships to make our skin crawl. And it takes time to free willingly allow God to lead and guide the way in all aspects of our lives, have a look at Romans 7.
I keep thinking of a blacksmith (fill in God, trainer, life coach). Their job is to take a metal and forge it into something else. So let’s say we come as a certain shaped metal. The blacksmith will have to break us down (break me) into melt-able pieces to form a new chunk of metal (make me). From there the metal gets fired up, in order for it to be molded into various forms (mold me). Finally finishing touches may be added to make it more functionally or unique to its purposes (shape me). The thing is, the metal has to constantly have the right amount of heat applied to it in order for it to be malleable. If not, the metal gets too cold and nothing can be done with it.
So first, one must possess the desire to break down the old to have it replaced with the new. Second, the new really isn’t the end-result new, it is just a new starting point so the real work can be done. Third, the heat has to stay turned up (enthusiasm, persistence, perseverance) in order for the molding to take place, while looking to God’s grace and Spirit to keep us from “going cold”. Finally, shaping takes place and we begin to see how we uniquely operate.
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