“When you’ve been doing the wrong thing for so long it feels right, so much so that trying to do the right thing feels wrong; that is wrong.” – g.w.bill elliott, jr
See… the longer we do the wrong thing… sorry… the ‘right thing’, it is harder and harder to be convinced that it is wrong and ‘that other way’ is really where Jesus wanted you to go. Again though, this all it not really our fault. I mean, it is your fault… no wait… it is not your fault… dang… wait…
See… all our lives we are pressured into doing things. Many times, whether we want to do them or not… many times out of peer pressure… too many times out of guilt, or some justice-driven commitment (activists). It’s not your fault… wait… it is your fault… wait… dang! OK… one last attempt… it IS your fault. You are to blame for your life, for your choices, for your actions. No one, but you will stand before the Lord and ‘give an answer’ for how and why you lived your life like you did… did what you did, how you did, and why you did.
What Drives Us
I struggle, struggle, STRUGGLE with why I am doing things in my life… not over-analyzing… not second guessing… not doubting… just ‘checking my heart’, being sure of my choice, learning to listen, hear, and act by His Spirit’s calling and leading. But, why do we do things in our lives? I mean sure, showering, eating, sleeping… these are the ‘part of life’ things we do. But, things like Jogging… like Cycling… like Weight Training and/or Treadmill exercising… like Dieting… like “New Years Resolutions”. Each of us can only answer to the secret and inner part of our core lives for the reasons or motivations for these kinds of things. But, it is these kinds of things (the reasoning) that helps lead you to the deeper “why am I doing this” stuff that the Lord shows you (church, ministry, work, politics, music, etc).
As a ‘template of thought’, or a ‘model of process’… let’s focus on Jogging or Cycling for exercise. Right out of the gate, one of the core reasons most of us do either is based on exercise. In turn, that means a healthier life, being fit-n-trim, weight-loss, cardio stability and strength. See?? All kinds of GREAT reasons to be doing these activities. These activities are both Physical and Mental… and some would say even Spiritual. No question here… so far! But, for a moment, get back to what was the core purpose, reason, or ‘trigger’ that convinced you to make your body DO these activities. The body (flesh) is motivated to ‘get into action’ by our thought process, which is driven by the mental side of us as well as the spiritual side of us… we ‘think on a thing’, or ‘make a determination’ based on information, thought, convictions (you see yourself in the mirror!).
Nothing EVER wrong with this… just… if your Spirit isn’t as into it much as your Emotions or Mentality are, your flesh is going to be strung out in a bad, bad way! Whatever it is, it ‘makes sense’ (logic and rationale), so you set your body into motion over it. I mean… how long HAVE you jogged before getting really tired… that ‘wall of pain’ or ‘wall of willingness’? See… when your emotions (or rationale) convince your body to ‘do something about it’, you get right into action… you may even go to some great lengths to prepare (gym membership, a trainer, educate yourself on diet strategies, etc)… you may even have had an ‘event’ that occurred, which motivated you. Regardless… once your body gets to that ‘wall’, or once the newness wears off, or once your mental state changes (you become discouraged, or distracted, or even derailed with some other activity)… the willing flesh stops! See… the flesh IS willing, but your Spirit was too weak to drive on… to remain motivated… to own this task.
Other things that motivate us into action though are less obvious… less tangible. Accolades can be a very, very subtle liar in your life! Unwittingly, we can get motivated to do things ‘in the public’ eye so-as to bring attention to ourselves (or even to bring attention to someone else). I have seen COUNTLESS people get involved in a ’cause’ because someone they know (or even themselves) were victims of something heinous, something life-changing (cancer, plane crash, violence)… and now they are a ‘champion for the cause’.