July 9, 2014 by Beth Hess
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Rocks sink, right? Well, sure, usually.
Except when they bounce.
The right rock, moving at the right angle, across the right water will skip right past the laws of gravity.
Earlier this week, I revealed my personal challenge with bounciness. Resilience. Endurance. Pressing on. Rising Up.
Recovering quickly to get back on track.
But I want to get better at bouncing. Maybe even skipping. So here are some things I’m trying.
- Change the Subject. I’m learning that one of the reasons I have trouble moving forward is because I get stuck in the past. I’m still thinking about the shot I missed, which makes me totally oblivious to the rebound opportunity and the chance to shoot again. Instead, I need to be quick to forget. To move on to something else. This works, too, when my old nature keeps calling me back. Typically, for example, when I want to eat something sweet, I obsess about it until I can’t help but give in. So when my mind is chattering about donuts, I start singing along to country radio or plan a stop at the produce stand. Change the subject. Change my mood.
- Move Faster. When it’s time to act, speed is your friend. Want to get on the treadmill when you get home? Head STRAIGHT to your workout clothes the minute you walk in the door. No reading the mail. No starting dinner. Move.Move.Move! (think drill sergeant) Thinking can be good. Stalling hardly ever is. If I were a scientific soul, I might do a survey, and I suspect I would find that we talk ourselves OUT of things more often than we talk ourselves INTO them. Time, my friend, is not always on your side.
- Think About Others First. In the same vein as Changing the Subject, a focus on something outside of myself is always a good prescription for more bouncability. I think about what I would tell a friend in my situation. The grace I would offer. The encouragement. And I find ways to offer grace. To be encouragement. It’s the fastest way to know to make a U-turn and get back on track.
- Consider the Big Picture. Though I try to make choices one at a time, (because giving up one fast food lunch is waaaaaaaaay easier than planning to forever give up all fast food lunches) I also try to see beyond the moment. I remember how it feels to be healthy. I reflect on the peace I feel when I stack up a pile of crossed-off goals. The sense of accomplishment. And while I know these may not be immediate results, the promise of getting there again can be the first step towards climbing out of the hole. Again.
- Forgive Myself. I think I’m usually pretty good at giving grace to others. But oh, how I can hold a grudge against myself. So I keep myself caged up in regret when the key to freedom has already been given. I’m not suggesting an aloofness towards mistakes or sin. But wallowing in them is no good either. I must give up the cloud of “should’ve been” and walk in the residue of grace.
- Know When I Need Help. On the path of life, I sometimes get stuck in ruts. Sometimes divots. But I have been known to camp at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. And, for those, there is no do-it-yourself bounce-back plan. When the only thing you know to say is, “I am not Ok,” it’s time to call in for air support. I have met with Counselors. Nutritionists. Pastors. Doctors. Life Coaches. I read. I write. I sing. I pray. I take a daily prescription anti-depressant. I’m not suggesting that’s the answer for everyone. It may not even always be the answer for me. But it’s the right move for right now. And I am far more resilient with its assistance than without. And I’m Ok with that.
- Stand on the Promises. Above all, I cling to grace. I dwell at the cross. I hold on to Him. To this. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) … And to this. “God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished.” (Philippians 1:6)
His strength — His endurance — is mine.
In that alone, rocks can skip. And I can bounce.
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