Skip the Fruit Loops
We live in world of dizzyingly fast, instant gratification. We order groceries online, we fast-forward through commercial breaks, we expect one-day shipping. We have grown accustomed to living life at a certain speed.
But on the things that matter most–a work that has purpose, leaving a legacy, life changing relationships, developing a new skill–they don’t happen overnight.
These things take time.
So why would we expect anything different when it comes to our spiritual life?
There is no fast-forward button on the discipleship process. And please be wary of anyone that promises you “three easy steps to becoming a fully-developed Christian.” That’s the lie of religion, not a relationship with the Creator.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 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.
– Philippians 3:12-14
What did Paul say in the Philippians 3 passage?
I haven’t gotten there yet. I haven’t obtained this yet… This a guy who wrote a huge chunk of the New Testament, this is a guy who met Jesus face to face, and even he admits, I’m not all the way there yet.
Let’s take a cue from Paul here. Go on ahead and admit that you’re a work in progress, it’s good for the soul.
But that’s not the end of the story. The good news of the gospel is that God steps in and says, I’ll meet you on your journey.
Do you feel the tension there?
God is going to do this thing, but you’ve got to get yourself in a position where you will see some progress happen. You don’t have to do all the work but there is still work you have to do.
Now part of what I think that means is we have to do things even if we don’t feel like doing them.
There will be moments in your spiritual life which will not be comfortable. What do you do in those moments…Do you move through the discomfort or do you back away and settle for comfort and convenience?
That decision is kind of like the difference between a bowl of fresh, nutritious fruit and a bowl of Fruit Loops. One of them is full of nutrients and vitamins. One of them is artificial.
Next time look at the label on the cereal box and notice the “minimum daily requirement’ section. Sure, there’s still some nutritional value in that bowl of cereal but it fails in comparison to the real thing.
God is looking at us saying, “Will you meet me in this? Will we do this together? Oh, and by the way, how about not just the minimum daily requirement? How about not just the minimum weekly requirement?”
Okay, so I came to church. Okay, so I showed up at work. Okay, so I told my wife I loved her.
How about if instead of settling for an imitation, we choose to live the abundant spiritual life we were created for?
That means you’re going to have to step into this thing and make an effort. It will take time, sometimes longer than you want. And you might be frustrated along the way. But God will meet you in that moment and he will begin to do something in your heart.
You’re a work in progress, so am I. What we choose to do in that in-between time is where our character is developed.
God doesn’t just want our minimum daily requirement. He wants a relationship. So, what is one thing you can do today, this week, this month to start making progress towards a fuller life with God?
Start somewhere. Take a step. Skip the fruit loops. God will honor that.
“It will require some hard-nosed but humble choices by each of us. It will take effort on our part—time and energy, too.” The Genius of One