It’s easy to get stuck in the dreams of wishful thinking, but do you want to get well? What are you going to do about it?
I wished I was skinny. I wished clothes would just fit me like a normal person. I wished boys would notice me. I wished I could eat a whole pizza without judgment (or calories).
My parents have always been avid exercisers. They were members of a gym and they extended their membership to cover me, too. I went to the orientation to learn about the machines and they pulled out the body calipers to measure my body fat. They kind of reminded me of torture chamber instruments. It’s quite the humiliating experience for anyone, much less an obese and insecure teenager, to have your fat pinched by someone who looks like they just stepped out of a fitness infomercial.
As they were jotting down all of those unhealthy numbers that made cringe, they started the lecture.
So you want to get healthy? Well, you should plan on coming to the gym about 6 days a week, here is the strength training circuit you need to follow, oh, and here’s a recipe for mashed cauliflower! You’ll love it.
*Insert shock and horror*
Wait, what?! That is what my life has to look like for me to be healthy? Going to school all day, then living at the gym and snacking on mashed cauliflower? NO! I don’t want that!
Not surprisingly, I went to the gym a few times, tried the recipe once (and made my mom eat all of the leftovers), and I didn’t lose the weight. Unless the desire is there, your changes will only be temporary.
Your life isn’t going to change unless you want it to.
Do You Want to Get Well?
One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?“
-John 5:5-6 (NIV)
This should be one of those no-brainer kind of questions, right? The man had been an invalid for 38 years already and Jesus asked him if he wanted to be well? Of course, he wanted to be well! Who wouldn’t?
Except this is no surface level question that Jesus asked. His life was about to drastically change.
He was used to living on a three by five mat, depending on others to get what he needed in life. Now, Jesus offered him a life of independence and freedom! That’s wonderful, right?
Except life can get pretty comfortable, just as it is. Even good change can be downright terrifying. He was about to leap into a world of unknowns! Before Jesus arrived, his future was bleak but it had been set, and now it was filled with unanswered questions and uncertain possibilities.
How was his life about to change? Was he ready to work? Could he handle the extra responsibility?
You might be asking yourself similar questions.
Do you really want to change the way you are eating to lose the weight? To change the way you are spending to get out of debt? To let go of your grudges and forgive, even though they don’t deserve it?
Not everybody wants to get well.
Do you? If so…
Pick Up Your Mat & Walk
Wishing your life to change is simply dreaming. It’s easy to lay on the couch, scrolling through Pinterest photos, and piece-mealing together your dream life – breathtaking vacations, a dreamy husband, a gorgeous house, healthy and delicious meal plans, and a perfectly balanced schedule.
It’s one thing to dream up the life you want to live, but it’s quite another to take action and make it happen.
He had to believe Jesus was who He says He was and could do what He said He could do. He had to have faith, trust that he was healed, and take those first unsteady steps.
When you want something so badly that the desire stirs up a longing in your soul for change, it spurs you to action.
It takes work.
It takes you pushing through the excuses, past the pointing fingers of blame, confronting the fear of failure, and doing it anyway.
Stop putting it off and coming up with reasons that you can’t. If you want it, do something about it. Put on your tennis shoes and go for a walk. Throw out the potato chips. Cut up the credit cards.
It’s time to take action.
So, do you want to get well?
What are you going to do about it?
How are you going to change your life, starting today?