The State of Things

I just pulled Instagram up on my phone and was going to start scrolling.

I'd made a decision last night, though: no social media till after dinner (because I want to be productive and really invest my time wisely annddd social media is like a black hole I fall into and never know when I will emerge).

I've tried no-mores like this before, and I've tried do-this-mores before, too. Things never seem to really go as planned, and that gets old after a while. Nobody likes to endlessly set themselves up for failure and discouragement. (The self-condemnation is usually what hits me. Hard.)

But I'm realizing something.
It's the state of things.

no more social media.
eat no more sugar. at all. 
do this. at this time. everyday.
engage in these three activities for an hour on tuesdays and these four on every third friday while out in the sun and while simultaneously engaging in physical activities.

Then, the slips come, and the goals are stained by the oozing of our failure.

I've wondered.
I've wondered why this is a perpetual problem for me.

Is it a lack of determination and perseverance? of will power?
Is it because of unrealistic goals?
Am I scheduling things too rigidly?
Should I make a schedule at all?

But really, what I'm seeing is that maybe it's the state of things.

I fail.
But maybe it's not the failure that matters.

It's the progress.

Yeah, I slip up, but I'm learning to slip up less.
New habits are slowly, slowly developing,
and I'm learning.

I'm learning that it's better to fail while trying to head in the right direction than to never try to head in the right direction at all.

I would much rather have to remind myself that hey, you failed, Deborah - but it's the state of things.  You are still making progress in the right direction.

You see, if we are drowning in unhappiness about something in our life, we are only causing ourselves harm by letting it continually suffocate us.

Just start making progress.

Failure makes us unhappy.
We can hold on to this fact, or we start making progress: we can let it go and grab on to the fact that change takes time but change is good (and we can celebrate that we are heading that way).

I hold this phone in my hand, and I can tell you that change is possible.
I didn't scroll through Instagram.  I opened the blogger app and started on this post.

We can make a change. 
We are making progress.
With each choice, the state of things can improve.

We can choose to not unhappily hold on to our failure but rejoice that we've been given another day to make progress.

We can choose to seek to maximize our progress with each choice we make.

Maybe it's not so much about holding our good intentions and our schedules over our lives and constantly weighing whether we measure up to these standards.

Maybe it's a holding up of a simple surrender: Here I am Lord.  I am Yours, Lord.  Have Your way in me.

When the fails come and when the progress is going amazingly well, it's all okay.

Because it's the state of things. And our ultimate state can't get any better; we're children of God (1 John 3:1).

He gives us what we need to make the state of anything else better.

And the state of things can get better.

This article was originally seen on The Rebelution.


I definitely don't want this to be a monologue. What are your thoughts? Questions? Ideas?