“A few years ago I decided to start exercising regularly again. I joined a local gym near the house and started going there in the evening after work. I had my routine – cardio and then strength training, laid out and also got a trainer at the gym to work with me. One evening he decided to incorporate weights into my strength training. I immediately went for the 5 and 10kg dumbbells and the trainer said to drop those and start with the 1.5kg ones.
I gave the trainer the side eye and said I’m not that weak you know. He laughed and said its not about strength it’s about the process of building and sustaining strength. I thought in my mind “yeah right!”. So I worked with the 1.5kg dumbbells and when he wasn’t looking went for the 5kg ones. Piece of cake I thought as I worked with them. After a few sets I dropped them and did other exercises. End of day.
When I woke up the next morning I wondered if I had been in battle. I struggled with doing basic things like lifting my hand to brush my teeth. Both arms where sore. As I went through the day, I kept wondering what happened to my arms. At the gym my trainer noticed I was having issues with my arms and asked what the problem was. He smiled and said “now you see why we start with lighter weights?” I flushed red. Apparently he had seen me swap the weights and decided experience would teach me better. I smiled and nodded in agreement. Sore arms – lesson learnt. ”
Many times as Christians we can be like this. We want to prove to people that we can handle and do certain things that really and truly we do not yet have the “spiritual muscles” for. Sometimes we do have strength and ability but lack the understanding of how to apply such strength. This is were going through the process comes in.
I’m reminded of the story of the disciples and their attempt at casting out demons from an afflicted man (Matt. 17: 14 – 21). I imagine they would have prayed and shouted and prayed and shouted but the demon didn’t budge. With a few words and a simple prayer from Jesus Christ, the demon departed.
Did they have the strength to pray – yes, but did they know how to fully apply strength in this scenario – no. Jesus Christ explained to them that what they wanted to do required a little more. The strength and power they needed to cast out the demon came by prayer and fasting. (Matt. 17: 21). There was a method to it; there was a process to accessing that kind of power.
Nature teaches us the same lesson daily. Babies don’t just get up and begin to walk expertly. There’s a process. They first learn to sit, crawl, stand and then begin to walk. Their limbs need to be strong enough to bear the weight of the rest of the body. Imagine if the baby tried forcing itself to walk before its limbs were strong enough?
There’s the place for strength but also the place for process.
We must never take this for granted. When we go through due processes of learning, we become well prepared for whatever assignment God has for us. A leader who has been through the process of stewardship is often times better equipped to serve and lead the people.
Natural resources like fuel, that has been through the refinement process, tends to be better appreciated and valued than one that hasn’t. Jesus Christ the Son of God went through his own process (40 days in the wilderness) before commencing his mission here on earth.
Sustainable power is found in the process.
Whatever your calling in life, stay committed to the process.
Be eager to learn and not in a hurry to lead. Be eager to master the art than to take center stage – nothing is more disappointing than an amateur trying to do the work of an expert.
Be open to learn and trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When the time is right, you’ll be ready and prepared to handle the heavier weights.
In God’s perfect time like Joseph, who had been through the process of life that was preparing him for leadership of a nation, you will stand before kings and indeed someday be the one in the lead.
Stay humble and stick with the process; it always pays off in the end.