Recently, I started tuning in to Elevation Church’s The New Rules of Resolution series. Pastor Steven is currently teaching about the beginning of a new year in Christ, but I took so much more from it than just the spiritual factor. The beauty of these sermons is that they apply to so many more aspects of your life than just once a week in the church pews.
This week’s sermon was about how living a life in Christ is not just a project where you intend to have a finish in mind, a goal; but rather life in Christ is a process, always changing, allowing for the journey and relationships to build over time, trying for it each day with no real end in sight. It got me to thinking…what else in my life is a process but I have been approaching it like a project, which has ultimately set me up for failure.
My relationships for one. I am not going to delve into my personal life too much, but I have noticed I have a pattern when it comes to my romantic relationships. The ultimate goal for me is to get married, become a wife, and settle down with children. Even Pastor Steven refers to brides that release a sigh of immense alleviation after a wedding; they may have finished one “project” but they are starting a brand new process. Once I saw it this way, I started to realize that I am setting myself up for failure with this cycle of projective love. I meet a guy, we date, it goes on well for a couple months but then I figure out some way to sabotage it. And why? Because my ideas for the end goal get in the way. The wedding dress, the flowers, the ring, it all blows up in my face and sets me up for failure because I am not looking at the process of meeting someone, spending time with them, genuinely getting to know them, and let things take their course. I am just trying to find someone to spend the rest of my life with, and, at the same time, I am losing the beauty of exploration, of acceptance, of learning to fight for the relationship, not just getting to the “end result.” It’s a hard thing for me to accept, because for most of my life I have been told “getting to the alter with Prince Charming is all that matters.” First thing’s first, there is no such thing as Prince Charming. Second, I need to realize that it’s unfair to ask that of myself, especially if I am having trouble keeping my relationship together. Forget about getting married, I need to work on just being with someone forever. I once told myself I would be married by 22. Well, that passed. Then I said, okay, when I am 25, that’s when I will be married. Yeah…about that, Morgan. Wrong again. And I can feel this little goal-oriented voice in the back of my head asking for a deadline extension for 27, maybe 28. And what for? So I can let myself down again? Die of a broken heart (and more than likely alone) because my lofty and unrealistic goals of having certain things happen to me by a certain time just aren’t happening? It’s frustrating and it’s hard to fight because this is the way many of us are wired. But if we have faith that one day this thing will happen, there is a higher chance of actually succeeding. It’s a process, not a project. You have to work at it everyday, not just when you decide there is a deadline.
Same thing with weight loss. I am going to use myself as another example. The goal of getting into the size 4 dress is a good goal to have. It has a deadline, it has a clear-cut definition of what needs to be achieved. And I can tell myself everyday up until I get into that dress that I am going to continue living healthy, but I think you and I both know the first thing I am doing once I get the go-ahead is get myself a burger. Want to know why? Because this weight-loss journey has taken on a project mindset, I will drop the entire process as soon as the goal has been met. And then I get fat again, not like I ever was, but let’s be real, here. Losing weight is a PROJECT; living healthy, eating well, and exercising is a PROCESS, one you are not allowed to quit until the day you die.
It’s a funny thing to wrap our goal-oriented minds around. We have always been told to finish what we’ve started. But the truth is, the finish will come only when we take our last breaths or we choose to give up. It’s a process. Growing in a relationship is a process. Living healthy is a process. Being the absolute best person you can be is a process. You are in process. I am in process. Life is a process! It is not a project. By simply changing your mindset, you may be surprised at how much more motivated you will become. In the past when you hit bumps in the road on a project, you may have given up. But if you accept those bumps as part of the process, you are more willing to keep on going and ultimately succeed.
The mantra for this week is “I Am in Process.” If you feel like you have hit a wall, if you feel like you are ready to give up, if you feel like there is no hope…just remind yourself that you are in process.
What are a few things in your life that you realize are a process? Are you more of a goal-oriented person or are you more of a relationship-oriented person? To see the entire sermon given by Pastor Steven, visit here.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated directly with Elevation Church, though I do watch the sermons online. I am adding my own insight to material presented by the church’s leaders. I am not trying to push a certain religion or faith. I am taking a great, motivational speech and applying it to everyday life. These thoughts in my blog are my own. The thoughts and opinions presented by Elevation Church are solely their own.