Yesterday I spent the morning in a business meeting. It was a motivational meeting, one like you might experience if you were at a Tony Robbins seminar (although much much smaller). The speaker, Scott, spent about an hour talking to us about where we would like to be in a year from now–our “future self.” The key word was “like” to be, not where we naturally would be. You see, we naturally will be just an older version of ourselves in a year, because we are a machine of habits and limitations, as Scott pointed out. We will keep doing what we always do, an object in motion that stays in motion unless something knocks it out of orbit.
So, Scott asked us to picture ourselves split in two–one self is who we are in a year if we just keep on doing what we always do–same habits, same patterns, same thoughts. The other self is who we would be a year from now if we stepped out of our box, changed bad habits, fixed some relationships, took some risks, changed things up–all the time striving for the goal of being our best self. We would do this by listening to our “personal trainer’s” voice. Think the gym. A personal trainer sees how we move then makes slight adjustments so that we are in our best form, and can get the most out of the work out. The personal trainer in our head will help us make the proper changes to our lives so that we are moving toward the best “me” we can be.
Of course, as I sat in my chair listening these words of inspiration, which was focused on changing our financial lives, my mind translated everything he was saying to my spiritual life (when God is at the center of our soul, everything we see, do and hear filters into a spiritual dialect). What is keeping me from being my best spiritual self in a year from now? If I believe that closeness with God equals peace and joy in my life, why wouldn’t I strive to get there? Who doesn’t want peace and joy? I can’t think of a single human. Ask yourself these questions that I asked myself (I provided some general examples, and you can also fill in the blank)
What would my best “spiritual” self look like in a year? (Close enough to God to hear his voice whisper in my ear, contentment with the path he has me on, sense of peace with my circumstances and relationships, ______________________________)
What habits would I need to change? (less time on the computer, more time in the bible, _________________________)
What new things would I need to do to break out of my box of habits and patterns in my walk with God? (rearrange my hours in the day to set aside time for prayer, have a coffee date with God at Starbucks once a week, ________________________)
What negative thoughts about my walk with God do I need to release? (God can’t possibly love me because of my past mistakes, I’ll never be as good of a Christian as _______________, I can’t be forgiven for _____________)
In order to get to this “best spiritual self” we would need to listen to our personal trainer’s voice, which of course is God. He will coach us through this process if we let him into our lives and ask him to help us evolve. He will help us not be in the same place relationally with him that we are today. But, we have to be willing to do this exercise of picturing where we want to be in a year from now. What does that really look like for you? I know I can become very complacent in my daily walk with God. It becomes too comfortable.
The times in my life when I have experienced God to the full were times I took risks: started a bible study in my sorority (scary!), worked at a Young Life Wilderness Camp for two summers where I was tempted and pushed to my physical and emotional limits, started a neighborhood bible study with ladies on my street who I barely knew (more scary!), etc. Now, I think my risks would be letting go of some things I like to do first thing in the morning like checking email and instead opening the bible first. What risks would you be willing to take this next year to grow? What small shifts in the 24 hours a day you are given would you be willing to take to become the best you that you can be?
Think about it….I am.