Have you ever had a goal you wanted to accomplish? Like maybe your goal is to finish college or land your dream job. I don’t know. But me, I’ve always had the goal to work out and get in shape. And this goal, I’m sad to say, has remained a goal for a very long time.
I’ve always loved making goals. When I was younger, I made a whole list of things that I wanted to accomplish before I graduated high school. That included things like learn to sew and get your driver’s license and start and keep a workout routine.
These were all great goals that I made thinking they’d help me adult better when the time came. And guess what? I completed exactly zero of them. Yep, I did none of it (including, shamefully, getting my license).
Like with working out, I kept saying I’d eventually work on that list. I’d get to it later. I’ll do it tomorrow. And I never did.
I can’t count how many times I’ve said that I’m going to get in shape, and never actually started. I don’t think there are enough numbers in existence for that.
But last summer, I actually did it. I actually, finally, started a workout routine and kept it. And, if you’ll believe it, I was actually, really dedicated. And if I’m to be honest with you, I did great!
Then, that winter I got a new and more demanding job, and I moved, and it threw my schedule off completely. With the adjustment period of all this, I decided to give myself some grace and take something off my very full plate. So I dropped working out, and I dropped it real quick.
But soon after that I realized I wanted to start working out again. So I told my sister, “I’m going to start a workout routine again. I’m going to get in shape. I’m going to wake up early before work and work out.”
The very next morning after I told her that, I got up at my usual time. My sister looked at me and scathingly said, “Thought you were gonna work out?”
Instantly on the defensive, I told her I was going to start as soon as I passed a big exam I was working towards.
A week went by and I passed the exam. The day after the exam I, again, didn’t get up early to work out. I told myself that it was a celebration and rest break; I’d start next week.
The next Monday came and passed — I didn’t work out. Then Tuesday passed, then Wednesday, then Thursday, and then Friday. Nothing. I didn’t do it.
I told myself, “Okay, I’ll start next week.”
Again, Monday came and passed and I didn’t work out. Are you surprised?
I kept saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” But tomorrow never came.
As Christians, I think we have a tendency to do this a lot.
We tell ourselves that we’ll start reading our Bible tomorrow. We’ll start digging into His Word tomorrow. We’ll pray later. We’ll fast another day. We’ll go to church next week.
But the answer is always tomorrow, and tomorrow never arrives because tomorrow is our fantasy land.
Tomorrow I’ll be fit and have a good workout routine. Tomorrow I’ll start eating healthy. Tomorrow I’ll learn that skill.
See, tomorrow is the place where we always want to be, but never get to. So why don’t we just start now?
We are all guilty of this Tomorrow Mindset.
But I want to encourage you all to step out of that Tomorrow Mindset, and live now.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 says, “Those who wait for perfect weather will never plant seeds; those who look at every cloud will never harvest crops.”
What does this mean?
It means that if we are constantly waiting for the perfect moment or “tomorrow”, we will never start. We will never reap the benefits.
My message today is plain and simple: Start Now. Don’t wait.
Pull your Bible out. Speak to God. Pray. Worship Him. Seek joy.
Start now and don’t wait.
Let’s jump back to that verse real quick. “Those who wait for perfect weather will never plant seeds; those who look at every cloud will never harvest crops.”
Let me break this verse down a bit.
If you want the crops, you have to first plant the seed. Right? So you have to get the seeds, put them in the ground, water them, tend to them, pull the weeds up so it doesn’t choke it out, and then you go get them.
That verse doesn’t say, “The farmer wanted crops so he decided to get them and there they were.” No, he had to work for it.
In regards to you, let’s say you decide to start now. You make that decision and you feel real good about it, and you actually do it. That’s great. But that’s not it.
Now you have to work at it.
When I decide to work out, starting now, I have to make a routine; I have to set my alarms for earlier to make time for it; I have to actually get up when those alarms go off; I have to get my lazy butt up and do it; I have to power through any soreness and then get up and do it all over again the next day. And I have to keep doing this.
Just because you decide to start doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to do every day like it should.
So following that verse, we have a guideline on how to do this thing and see it through:
First, we have to get the seed. We have to grab a hold of the vision. I want to be fit, I want to be healthy.
Then, we plant the seed. We start doing it.
Then we have to tend to the crop, water it. We have to keep at it.
And the last thing is the most important: we have to watch out for weeds.
When we move forward in life, we make the devil mad. He doesn’t like that. So he comes at us.
When we draw near to God, the devil is going to start to try and pull us back away again.
For example, if you’ve been meaning to read your Bible more and you decide to start now, you are going to be hit from so many different sides with so many different things.
Someone will text you when you’re reading the Word. Someone will comment on your post on social media and suddenly two hours have gone by and you’re just scrolling. Maybe you’ll think of something funny you saw and become overcome with an urge to find it.
And suddenly you realize that you haven’t really read the Word.
So as you navigate through this, I want to encourage you to stay on the course. Pull the weeds up. Keep an eye on anything that is trying to trip you up and choke you out and get rid of it. Don’t entertain it!
Sometimes weeds can look pretty. But the reality is that it kills the plants.
I don’t care how something looks or feels. If it’s distracting you from your relationship with God — if it’s taking any space up on His throne — it needs to go.
Don’t entertain anything that does not belong to Him or line up with what He says.
So today, I want you to ask yourself, “Why is now never good enough for me? Why can’t I start now?”
Make that decision to start now. Whatever it is in your spiritual life, make a decision for now. Then do it.
Maddisen Sauls is the smile and voice behind the Everyday Joy blog as well as the author of the Word of the Week posts and the editor of by leaps and bounds. Throughout her life, Maddisen has worked as a reporter for small town newspapers, a School Age and Preschool teacher, and has acquired her ministerial license.
An avid book reader and lover of the written word, Maddisen is passionate about using her favorite medium to reach the lost and the hurting, and to offer encouragement and hope to those struggling through life.
Following her battle with depression, Maddisen has made it her mission to help other people through this journey and to bring joy to the lives of the people around her.
You can find Maddisen on Instagram @maddisen.paige