They opened up a Gold’s Gym a few minutes from my house this week so when I was given the chance to sign up with no membership fees if I signed up early I took advantage of their offer. Now, I am not doing this as part of a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or get in shape. They say, those who join the gym to fulfill a New Year’s resolution are usually done for the year by February 7th.
The reason I joined the gym is to develop a habit of exercise back into my life. If I exercise regularly and ritually, the goals of weight loss and fitness will take care of themselves. And, I am not resolving to go to the gym so many days per week, I am making an appointment to exercise. It is written down. It works with the rest of my schedule and it gets priority so that if an emergency (like an early morning hospital visit) comes up I have a secondary time in the day when that appointment is set. Take today for instance. The gym opens at 8:00 AM but I’ve got a previously booked appointment at 9:00 AM at church. In light of that, my exercise appointment has been set for later in the day.
To be a disciple you have to move beyond the ideal of having a better life. You even have to move beyond liking or trying some new idea on for size. To be a disciple requires implementation – a habit forming whether that be a habit of prayer, study, giving, writing, witness, or exercise. Implementation is followed by integration where we are blessed by the results of what we do. Integration blossoms into individualization where the habit or practice is truly claimed as something you do. This then gives you the opportunity to become an inspiration for others who desire to form new habits in their lives.
Maybe you’re like me and you’re a resistant-to-make-new-habits kind of person. You can start a lot of things. You can stop a lot of things. The only individual habit you are known for is your habit of being inconsistent. That’s why I encourage you to make an appointment for the habit you want to implement into your life and even after you believe that practice has been integrated into your days continue setting the appointments. The longer you go in individualizing something new into being something old for you set the appointments. Order your life as a disciple to be all you can be!