2 Cor 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen containers, so that the extraordinary greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves”
In our ever-changing world consistency is surprisingly unique. Pop icons discuss in detail the way they brew their tea or fold their clothes. Why do we read that stuff? In our fluid way of life perhaps we long for some hard-core consistency. Think about it a moment, what’s one of the hardest things you’ve done recently? Isn’t it just showing up? Doesn’t it involve staying under something, being consistent, doing hard things day after day? People around us may not even realize we are working to be consistent in our marriage, job, health, and habits.
Most of my life I’ve just kept my head down and done my work. I don’t complain much when I’m in a tough spot and I don’t celebrate much when I have a breakthrough. But I’ve realized there is a vulnerability in being honest and inviting others to collaborate when the road is just too hard alone. If you’re like me, talking with others about what you’re learning helps you to process it all. So, I would like to share about a milestone in my life this week.
One year. I am celebrating one year of publishing a weekly blog and one year since my book came out. If you haven’t read through my book with a friend, I hope you will invest in your inner world and get Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion. As many of you know, I agonize over writing. But time and time again I feel God show up as I show up! In the past year, the words would flow some weeks, but other times I felt I had absolutely nothing to say. And those were the hard times to dig deep and search out, well, what has God shown me recently? Consistency in writing built some muscle for me as an author. It helped me hone my voice and lean in to God. Consistently showing up forced me to battle procrastination, fear, and shame.
In 1 Timothy 4:14 the Apostle Paul exhorts Timothy, a young pastor in training, “Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you.” Then, in 2 Timothy 1:6 Paul instructs him to “fan into flame the spiritual gift with in.” Do not neglect it and fan it into flame–these two exhortations indicate our natural tendency is to neglect or rest passively with our gifts either from fear, shame, resistance, or just laziness. Is it possible that where we encounter the greatest resistance could be our area of greatest giftedness? Paul tells Timothy, “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.” (1 Timothy 4:15)
Rather than just keeping my head down and doing my work, never complaining and also never really celebrating, I want to meditate on these things with you. I want to celebrate showing up consistently for a year while also confessing it was hard! But I made it, and I’m a better writer because of it and hopefully more dependent on the Spirit of God than ever before. Where do you struggle with consistency?
We all are working toward something in the coming year. What are the hard choices we need to make right now to land where we want to be next year or five years from now? Consistency really matters in the small things of life and it builds the road that leads us into the big things. Self-discipline, honesty, thoughtfulness- done over a long period of time, pay off. Clearly, we are merely earthen containers; it is the extraordinary greatness of God that fills us up.
Have a great week everyone! Go to www.MargaretAllen.org for free resources and to sign up to get this blog in your email every Monday.