Athlete, Be Steady
Proverbs 21:5 (ESV)
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11 NIV)
We live in a unique pendulum of time. Often positioned amidst polar beliefs, we’re planted in a society fixated on instant results and Instagram yet it equally craves the authentic benefits and byproduct of the holistic farm-to-table experience.
Undoubtedly, a meal slowly marinated in a Crock-Pot trumps a microwave dinner anytime; however, we live our lives in a continual ping-pong juxtaposition of these two ideals.
As a kid we’re told of the parable in which the tortoise (NOT the much faster hare) always wins … And though, in part, we may understand the basic truth of that story – do we really believe it in whole? Daily applying the principle to the elusive, rewarding and allurement of the moment seems to prove challenging for the most disciplined among us.
An occasional short-cut here or there, if it doesn’t hurt anyone … is it really such a bad thing? Emphatically —”Yes!”
Our Instagram mentality would often rather settle for the painted illusion rather than endure the messy hard work and marred rejection of putting in the necessary effort to yield lasting results – whether that be in the gym, in the classroom or in relationships.
Obviously, work smarter, not harder – that’s not what this is about.
This is about the temptation to blur the lines and embark in the dangerous areas of compromise, complacency and conviction for short-term gain. From steroids to sexual promiscuity to engaging in the subjective cancel culture to simply slowing down at sprints (and anything in between) – never leaving it all on the court (never standing for what you believe and never fully accomplishing all that you could have) slowly erodes your soul and stifles your destiny.
Rationalized excuses, replicated poor choices, recanted beliefs, all yield a cocktail of toxicity and results that you can’t honestly look yourself in the mirror and be proud of.
Aristotle may have said it best, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
As your habits and disciplines broadcast your destination, any goals, achievements or accolades earned are merely a culmination of many small habits.
Choose your habits wisely.