On a recent cruise that my husband and I took, we visited San Juan, Puerto Rico. We didn’t stay very long, we docked at about 6:30 am or so, but we had to be back at the ship by 1:30pm. We returned to the ship at 1pm just to be safe. Our ship was scheduled to leave the port at 2:00 pm.
Right at 2:00 pm, I heard the ship’s horn. Slowly (so slow that we couldn’t even tell that we were moving) we backed away from the pier, then we stopped. It must have felt like an eternity because I heard the woman in the other stateroom ask her husband, “Is there something wrong with the ship? We’re not moving!” It took nearly 15 minutes to turn the ship in the right direction but we finally were on our way, going ever so slowly out of the bay. About 25 minutes later, we were out to sea and on our way to the next port.
The incident reminded me of our lives. Sometimes our progress seems so slow that it doesn’t even look like we are making any progress, or our progress just stops. Other times we go backwards when we should be going forward; and when we try to readjust and correct our situation then our progress seems so slow and we get frustrated.
The thing is, positive change takes time. If we’ve been doing something for most of our lives, we can’t expect to change “overnight.” If we “backslide” then we need to make a correction and continue going forward. Don’t give up and don’t get frustrated. Be patient with yourself.
If it takes a “long time” to turn a big ship in the right direction, then it will take a long time for us to turn our lives in the right direction. Just remember that all things are possible with God!
Copyright © 2018 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti
I started actively running in early January of this year. Part of the reason I started was because I didn’t like the way I looked. I thought I had gained a lot of weight, and I was afraid that if I didn’t do something about it then I would continue to gain weight. I didn’t realize how much damage I had done to my body—I had eaten so many unhealthy foods– quarter-pound hotdogs, chocolates, cookies, ice cream, fried chicken, hamburgers, etc. I thought that since I had been running consistently for a couple of months (and I had stopped eating fatty foods) that I would have a flat stomach by now, but after years of gluttony I can’t expect to shed fat “overnight.”
Then I thought about how Christians are supposed to be like Jesus, but that process can take a long time. For many years, I barely read my Bible, and I did not have a desire to go to Sunday school—I only went to Sunday morning worship. Although I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 19-years-old, it’s only been since October of last year that I’ve been reading my Bible and praying consistently. Progress takes time—sometimes a lot of time. We need to be patient with ourselves— we will fail and “mess up,” but we need to forgive ourselves; then we need to focus on the next day rather than looking back.
I may want a flat stomach now, but I have to be consistent with my workouts and not expect immediate results. In the same way, I have to keep pressing forward in my Christian walk—I can’t expect to be like Jesus unless I keep reading and studying His Word, and I have to keep in mind that change will be slow. I can’t get discouraged because things are not changing as fast as I would like—I just have to keep focused on the end goal. Hebrews 12:1-2 has the following, “…let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…” (NLT).
Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti