I loveeeeeeeee summer. It’s such a great time. I get to relax a little more, have fun, and grill a ton! It’s a season that many make sure to take time off to enjoy life!
For me and my family, we always make sure to take the time to go to the beach and do …. NOTHING! It’s seriously one of the best weeks to have nothing scheduled except sleep, swim, get a tan (or try to!), and hang out with my great family.
It’s one of the most comfortable weeks because the whole week is structured around whatever we want to do – and with so much time on our hands, we can fit it all in!
Maybe the beach isn’t your thing, or you haven’t been able to take a vacation in a long time. Either way, we all have hours, days, or weeks (maybe more?) that our only goal is to be comfortable. You know when you’ve mentally decided you are going to do what you want when you want – if it’s not enjoyable you’ll do it later?
That’s what I’m talking about.
The truth is that’s enjoyable! For a moment we don’t have anywhere close to the amount of responsibility on our shoulders that we normally do. We can just be ourselves, do what makes us happy – and it’s awesome!
I’m obviously not anti-vacation, but I’ve found that this vacation mindset follows me through life. Once I’m ‘back to reality’ sure there are things I do because I have to – I’m a father, a husband, and I have a job so I can’t be on vacation forever! BUT my mindset is still the same, I really only want to do what I want, when I want to.
I think this exists inside all of us in different areas of life. This is why gyms make a huge profit on New-Year’s Resolutions – the same resolution you’ve had the past 5 years….
I’m a pastor, so you are probably smart enough to see where this is going…. but forget spiritual stuff for a second. If we are all honest with ourselves, there are things in our life we wish we were better at. Things that we know we should do – but don’t WANT to. I mean we want to want to – but there is something inside us fighting for what we want and not what we need to do.
Sure, there is something fighting for ‘what we should do’ – it’s just usually quieter than the ‘what we want’ voice.
Take the picture above – how many times do people say “I’ll only have one.” Next thing we know ‘one’ has become ‘one box.’
You don’t need me to tell you that this is all true – you’ve experienced it in some way. The question we should ask is – Why?
Seriously, if you write out the process, your brain and actions go through we sound pretty dumb or silly. I’ll give you an example from my life …
I know diet and exercise are super important for me. I schedule pretty much everything in my life – so I knew I needed to schedule exercise and remind myself to track food. So I made a calendar and reminders for every day of the week. About half the time a reminder goes off I get this ping of guilt that reminds me ‘yeah I should really do that – I’ll start tomorrow.’ Then I don’t. As a result, I’m inconsistent and not where I want to be physically because I’m doing what I want at the moment and not what I should.
I do not understand what I do! Both wants are in conflict with each other, and it’s easier for me to go for the immediate one – even though I know all the reasons I shouldn’t. I even know that what I’m doing is wrong!
Again, not rocket science we probably can all think of an example like this in our own lives, but the question is – Why?
You don’t have to believe this, but the Bible actually talks about this in Romans 7:15-20. You should check it out – because it amazes me that a guy (Paul) 2000 years ago wrote this sentence. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” – Vs 15.
Isn’t that exactly how we feel? We do not understand why we are so quick to naturally do thing things we know we shouldn’t over what we know we should do. Apparently 2000 years ago people wrestled with the same issue!
Paul’s answer and solution are ultimately tied to Jesus and what he came to save us from. You can wrestle with what he says – I just think you should check it out because he offers a solution to ‘that thing’ deep inside us that is waging a war of will-power.
The reason this is so important is that this is bigger than exercise, health, or even dishes. There are much bigger issues at stake in relationships, careers, family, spouses, etc. Where we know we shouldn’t do something – but we still do. We know we should stop – but we don’t.
It’s important to wrestle with why we do that. Feel free to disagree with Paul’s answer/solution but don’t short-change yourself by ignoring why you don’t do what you know you should do.
Next week we’ll explore his answer and solution to ‘why’ in more detail. Till then here’s a quote I hang up in my room – that sometimes helps (I’m not perfect).
We don’t drift in good directions. We discipline and prioritize ourselves there. – Andy Stanley