The her I am referring to is the instructor on the workout video I committed myself to completing. It’s called Slim in Six, and after years of a less-than-stellar exercise habit, I decided this was the year of change. But, as is my customary pattern, after a few days of effort, I’d begun complaining to my husband because the results I wanted to see where still in hiding.
“Give it time,” he said.
“You just started,” he said.
“It’s taken you years to put on the weight you can’t expect to lose it in six days,” he said.
“It’s Slim in Six weeks, not six hours,” he said.
All true, but then I heard those five words.
Don’t throw this move away.
The move she was referring to is a simple move – reaching up and over; perhaps this is why she thinks people will throw it away. We might discount its value. She also reminds me during the workout that each move counts, and they are all here for a reason so it’s important to make the effort. After all, I am worth it.
Is it possible results lack when I assume a simple move is a pointless one? Have I been putting my all into every move she’s asked me to do? Have I been faithful to complete each and every move with my best effort? The answer is an honest – no! When the effort becomes too difficult—I take a water break; yet, when the move seems too simple—I discount its value. My goodness. What might the results be if I valued each move regardless of its simplicity or difficulty?
As she motivates me to be mindful that every move has value in exercise, I become aware that every move God asks me to make has value, too. Yet, often I discount the move, or fail to make the effort, when I don’t feel I am worth it – or I fail to see the results I was hoping for.
It’s easy to discount the moves we make to improve relationships when the results are not as we expected. I recently encouraged a friend to not throw away the move of the apology God asked her to make. She was ready to when the results weren’t what she’d anticipated. It’s not easy to humble our self and seek forgiveness for a hurt we’ve caused. And, why bother to apologize at all if we never see a change in the relationship? It’s not easy to wait for the heart of the offended to soften, but we shouldn’t discount our obedience to the Lord and assume the apology didn’t matter.
Thinking back to my days as a stay-at-home mom, repeating the same statements countless times. I’d think to myself if they didn’t hear me the first 1,567,499 times what makes me think they are going to hear me now? But I continued to repeat them.
“Put the toilet seat down.”
“Don’t touch your sister.”
“Please remove your dirty shoes outside.”
“Please shut the door behind you.”
“Please just eat your dinner without complaining.”
“Walk, don’t run.”
“Say, ‘Thank you’ or ‘Please.’”
Oh, mommas, as tempting as it is to throw the move of repetition away, don’t discount the value of good instruction. “Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful” (Proverbs 16:20, NLT). I can promise you one day you will see the results of your commitment to repetition. You will see your instructions lived out through your children. And as an added bonus, you will hear your children repeating themselves to your grandchildren.
We discount the value of our efforts to walk in obedience to God when we feel we have the right to determine the outcome. I think every act of kindness should be met with a thank you and a high five. Is it? No. After the battle I just endured to maintain my composure I’d like to have my patience recognized and rewarded. Will it be? No. When my flesh craves to be accepted, appreciated, and applauded should I discount every act of love because I was rejected, neglected, and criticized? Again–no. God does not discount faithfulness.
I’ve heard many fitness coaches talk about the importance of stretching but not stressing our muscles. I think God works like that, too. He’s not trying to add stress to our lives but He certainly will stretch us to become the person He created us to be. We simply must remember our responsibility is to move when God says to. He will take it from there. Every move He asks us to make is spiritual training so be faithful to put forth your best effort. He’s worth it, and so are we.
As I allow God to change my identity—one letter at a time—I finally recognize it’s my responsibility to M-Move. I will no longer discount the task He’s put before me—whatever that may be—based on the outcome I see with my natural eyes. When He says, “Move” I won't throw it away. I want to remember what Paul wrote to Timothy, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (I Timothy 4:8 NKJV).
What about you? Are you ready to