Like most people, I have trouble carrying through with good intentions. My problem rarely is ignorance (not knowing what to do). Rather, my problem is inactivity (not doing what I know to do).
Gaining knowledge of what I should do is easy. A quick look around my house tells me what I need to do in terms of housework. I can search the Internet or see a doctor to learn dos and don’ts for caring for my body. Usually I have only to ask my family members and friends to know how I can help them. I can read the Bible to know what God asks of me.
Acting upon that gained knowledge is the hard part.
My natural tendency is, like water, to follow the course of least resistance. I see Hershey Kisses and I eat freely. I sit on the couch and work crossword puzzles half of the day. I leave dinner dishes to be washed in the morning. Daily time spent in the Word is hit or miss.
Doing whatever is easiest rarely means doing what is best. Often it means doing nothing.
Just as the cure for hunger is eating and the cure for tiredness is getting rest, the cure for inactivity is becoming active. Becoming active always requires effort.
Failing to put forth effort results in many unpleasant consequences. Your house gets out-of-control messy. Your weight increases and the state of your health declines. Personal relationships grow weaker and fewer. The intensity of your spiritual life dwindles, and what is commonly referred to as your “quality of life” starts to stink.
Thus, all of us face this decision: Will I follow the path of least resistance and pay the penalties that ensue, or will I put forth the effort required for living the life I want to live?
Many people try to do both. They laze their way through days, weeks, and months until they become miserable enough to be motivated to become active. Then they put forth effort for a while until they get tired and gradually slip into inactivity again.
This is no way to live.
But neither is a life of constant activity a good way to live. Balance is needed.
This is what balance looks like for me. My house is reasonably clean (not immaculate), I am eating, sleeping, and exercising reasonably (not focusing solely on one), my friends and family members are close but not suffocating me (I need some alone time.), and God’s peace indwells me (I am experiencing joy, not guilt.)
Maintaining this balance requires me to establish good habits. Good habits ensure that I give proper attention to my body, to my relationships with other people, to my house and other responsibilities, and to my Christian walk.
I compare myself to a high-wire walker. He reaches his destination safely but not without making adjustments along the way.
Like the tightrope walker, I usually know when I am veering off course. The sooner I make adjustments, the sooner I am back to where I want to be.
If a tightrope walker follows the path of least resistance, he will hit the ground. Figuratively speaking, the same is true for me.