My husband and I are usually the last ones in our circle of friends to buy the latest gadget. We were the last to get a flat screen TV and the last to switch to smart phones, but recently I joined the fitness tracker club when I was gifted with a Fitbit. Wearing a wristband 24-7 that tracks so much of your daily activity has been eye-opening. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned.
1. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
While I don’t consider myself old, I am generally set in my routines. One of my favorite features of the Fitbit is the alarm I am using to remind myself to drink water throughout the day. In just a few weeks’ time, I started noticing that I was automatically reaching for a drink shortly before the alarm would buzz. Perhaps an expert in psychology can explain the science behind that, but this can easily carry over into our spiritual activities. Do you find yourself forgetting to pray or forgetting to read your Bible? There is no time like the present to start a new routine. Set alarms to remind yourself to pray (There are apps for that!) or study. In a few weeks, you might just find yourself praying before your alarm!
2. You still get the benefit even without the credit.
I really wish there was a setting for “mother of young children” on my Fitbit. I’m convinced that I’m not getting an accurate picture of my calorie burn because my steps are often taken while carrying around an extra thirty pounds. All of the bending, stooping, and lifting may not be counted as a step, but it sure is a workout! While it would be nice to see precise calculations (and earn those silly Fitbit awards) for my efforts, I’m still gaining the benefits, physically, for just doing the work. The question comes, am I content just doing the work as I serve in the kingdom or am I only serving in hopes of recognition? When we so frequently see others publicly getting pats on the back, it can be tempting to want to wave our hands (or post that pictures) to say “Look over here what I’m doing!” A great question to ask ourselves is, “Would I still be doing this if nobody ever knew?” May we always aim to seek glory for God over promoting of self. We are sure to benefit from serving others even if we never receive credit this side of eternity.
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3. Your assumptions can be wrong (and often are).
I was excited to wear my Fitbit for the first full day to see how many steps I was taking. I was sure that I’d easily surpass the 10,000 step goal simply because I care for young children all day. Boy was I wrong! It has proven to be much more difficult than I thought to get those steps in! We often make assumptions that can be spiritually detrimental. Perhaps we assume that a guy covered in tattoos would never be interested in coming to the gospel meeting. Maybe we pass up an opportunity for a Bible study because our friend on her 3rd marriage has so many problems in her life we wouldn’t get very far. Our assumptions can be wrong. May we never let our assumptions stand in the way of the power of the gospel to change lives.
4. You can still reach your goals despite interruptions.
In this stage of life, there is no guarantee that I will get a full night of uninterrupted sleep. Someone usually needs something. If you’re unfamiliar with a Fitbit, it tracks your sleep patterns in addition to your steps. I was surprised to find that even on nights that I’m up a few times; I was still meeting my sleep goals. I was not as well-rested, but the goal was met! How often do we throw in the towel when distractions and interruptions come our way? Maybe you set out to read the whole Bible this year, but something came up and you’ve fallen off the wagon. Maybe you don’t feel like you’re getting much out of the times you do study because, well, someone always needs something! Don’t give up! Your goals might need to be shifted and your expectations adjusted, but keep making the effort. You can still reach your goals, even with interruptions.
Our steps can take us many places in life. May we always emphasize the spiritual in our routines, walk humbly, and bring others with us to our ultimate goal, heaven!
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by Kathryn Baker
Kathryn is married to Andy Baker who preaches for the Maud church of Christ in Maud, TX. She stays at home with their 3 children. In her spare time, she enjoys food (both cooking and eating!), gardening, and taking their Boston terrier for walks.