Many years ago, I joined a group to help me lose weight. I signed up, got the materials, stayed for the meeting, had the program explained to me and went home. The next morning, I started following the “diet.” Six months later I had reached my “goal weight.”
I had succeeded.
Today, more than 30 years later, most of that weight is still off. The number on the scale is different and I have adopted habits and lifestyle changes that have made me a stronger, healthier person. But when I started my weight loss journey it was strictly about the number on the scale.
If the number went down one week, then all was good. If the number went up, then I had failed.
Success and failure were tightly wound into a single measurement. It was all tied to the “diet” and the scale.
While I have kept the weight off for a long time it was years before I adopted an attitude of a healthy lifestyle and let go of the “diet” mentality. I had to release the attitude where success and failure were measured by a single number on the dreaded scale.
It was years before I discarded that flawed vision of success.
These days I measure my success differently. How my clothes fit, how I feel physically, and how many days of exercise I get in a week are just of few of the measurement tools I currently use. And these days I remind myself that my plans for my future are not really in my control. I wear a bangle with this verse inscribed on it: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 It is important to put this verse into context. Verse 10 reads, “For Yahweh says, After seventy years are accomplished…”
There may be trouble before we see success. And it may be a long time before we feel there we have hope and a future.
But HOPE and a FUTURE are possible.
We are now in the fourth week of the new year. We may have had great dreams and visions of making this year different. But things have not gone as we had hoped and planned. We think we have failed. We have not failed. We just have to regroup and start over.
There are three verses that might help you continue with your goals, get started with your goals or start over.
- Jeremiah 29:11 referenced above reminds us that God has a hope and a future for us. But we have to be patient.
- Psalm 5:3 “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you wait expectantly.” Begin every day with a few minutes of prayer, quiet time and reflection.
- Philippians 3:13-14 “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Each day is a new day to begin again. We cannot change the past, but we can most definitely change our future.
We don’t want to go through life with our success or failure tied to one thing or idea. Hopefully, by remembering these verses and incorporating them into our daily routine they will help us to not feel defeated and discouraged.
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
Don’t lose sight of the fact that each new day brings a fresh beginning, a new start, a “do-over.” And all of us need a “do-over” occasionally!