“Have you lost a few?”
That’s how Scott greeted me. “Yes, a few,” I said as my eyes started to mist.
I know that’s a pretty strong emotional response to someone wondering whether you’ve lost weight. For years my response to that question has been to laugh. Almost derisively. For years it’s been the sweater, or moving from large to extra large so the tightness isn’t as obvious.
A month ago I decided that I didn’t want to be one of the guys I remember from my youth who died of a heart attack after shoveling the driveway at the age of 50. I’m past that age. I decided that I wanted to change some habits. I decided to pay attention.
When Scott said something, I realized something was working. The gradual shift from spending 25 minutes online to 25 minutes on a bike worked. The shift from chocolate to frosted mini-wheats worked. The doing instead of talking about doing worked.
As I reveled in visible progress, I realized that I need to do the same for my friends. I need to recognize and affirm the fruits of discipline. I don’t pay much attention to weight. But I could start noticing spiritual growth.
Lots of you are working on growing in your relationship with God. You are trying to understand what obedience really means. You are trying to talk with God more consistently. And it shows. You are getting frustrated less. You are noticing your frustration more quickly. You are spending more time wrestling with questions that matter.
You still see the struggle. You may not see progress. But as you listen to Peter who says to “make every effort to add to your faith, goodness. And to your goodness, kindness,” and so on, there will be changes. I’m noticing. I’ll cheer more.