We can only achieve consistency step by step.
Our church had a blessing tree for Christmas 2017, which blessed my life in a special way. We each received an ornament for the church tree on which we were to write our greatest blessing of the year. Mine was gentleness. God had dealt with me about that all through the year as he helped me become more gentle. People even started noticing! And so I counted gentleness as the year’s greatest blessing, and thanked the Lord for it.
I’ve reflected on that ever since. Because I’d learned the value of concentrating in particular on one area of spiritual growth.
Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew and struggle to take it in. We make vague goals like: I want to grow this year or I want to become more like Christ. With no clear idea how to achieve them.
Obviously true change and spiritual growth cannot happen without prayer and Bible study. Becoming like Christ takes time with him and knowing him more.
But change takes effort on our part too.
And it rarely happens all at once, but one step at a time. Becoming more gentle took lots of prayer and diligence with Bible study and reflection.
So did gentleness complete my spiritual growth? Of course not. But it was a big step forward!
Ever since then, I’ve thought about climbing aboard the One Word bandwagon. But it seemed so faddish, and I usually steer away from those. But having learned that intense focus combined with baby steps can add up to giant strides, I couldn’t get away from the thought.
So I’ve decided move forward in 2020 with Consistency.
Sometimes it seems like I’m the world’s greatest procrastinator. I procrastinate or jump from one thing to the next. Schedules vanish, taking my peace of mind with them. And the should-dos nag at the back of my mind as the list grows longer and longer.
I used to think my husband got stuck in ruts, until I realized that he’s just a highly consistent person. Which is how he accomplishes so much and why he’s the most peaceful person I know. Peace of mind comes easier when the mind is not cluttered with so many should-have-dones and should-dos.
but in thinking of consistency the ant also came to mind.
Such a tiny insect, yet it achieves so much. When time to gather in its food it concentrates on that. Even the Bible lauds this tiny insect for its diligence and hard work. And actually most insects are like that. If they procrastinate or slow down, they won’t eat or survive.
But I find bees especially fascinating. As foragers they play an important role in our food supply by assuring cross-pollination of plants.
Some bees prefer only one flower, while others will visit many kinds of plants. But did you know that even those with a more varied diet stick to one kind of flower per trip? Known as floral consistency, this is important because it guarantees the pollination necessary to set seed and maintain that plant population year after year.
Rather than randomly eating from many plants at once, they consistently stick to visiting the same flower type on each pollinating trip. And thereby ensure the continuation of flowering plants like cherry trees, plum trees, and even bean plants.
The bee has a task and he sticks to it.
He sees it through to completion. And we need that kind of consistency in our lives too. God gives us each certain tasks in life, and it’s important we stick to them.
So let’s make 2020 a year of carrying things to completion. And of tending to things right away, when they should be done. Even little things like doing dishes right away or making the bed in the morning and not late afternoon can make a big difference!
My personal consistency goals for 2020.
I plan to work on greater consistency in spiritual disciplines like prayer, fasting, and Bible study. At tending to household things right away. And writing with more regularity.
Non writers and non bloggers probably won’t understand that last one, but something inside us writers pushes us to write. And I’ve found that writing more regularly helps the creative juices flow. So I pray that 2020 will be a fruitful year spiritually and a prolific year of writing for me!
But even if you don’t write, you surely have goals you’d like to meet. Whether at work or home, or in regards to a skill you’re working at. Apply yourself to it with consistency and I’m sure you’ll have a bountiful 2020 too!