I bet you have read and heard countless spiels about discipline. Discipline is hard. Discipline takes a lot of effort. Discipline is no fun. Well, personally, I agree. However, thankfully, I have found a loophole! Now before you raise your hand in objection, hear me out. As evidence #1, I present Fitocracy. There are many fitness trackers out there, including Map My Fitness, My Fitness Pal, Strava, and more. (I'm only linking to Map My Fitness because I also use it, for, as the name implies, tracking my rides and runs.) However, the reason I most prefer and most use Fitocracy is that it makes a typically tedious task fun. I love being in shape. I feel great and I don't get sick as much. Yet at the same time, staying active is sometimes hard to do. Enter Fitocracy. I get to log my activities, get rewarded with points, and I can go up against friends and strangers. Yes, this is basically a World of Warcraft for exercise. You even get to do quests to earn bonus points. For example, if I manage to run a sub 6 minute mile, I will get about 100-200 points for the run, plus an extra 600 points for completing the quest for that accomplishment. For those of you who are laughing at this, I dare you to seriously try it for a month. Find me here. If after the month you don't feel drawn to continue, don't. However, I bet you will. Especially if you look around at the different quests and the other groups you can join. (I currently am in Cyclists, Runners, and Indoor Rowing and a few others.) The great thing is complete strangers will be fully encouraging, even if you just do 10 push ups a day.
You might be sitting there thinking, "Okay, but how does this relate to your blog in general?" Simple. First, it's part of my life. I love tracking it and seeing how my friend Estevan is doing, and seeing how I'm stacking up against others. (By the way, for you ladies, this isn't just a guy competition on here. There are plenty of ladies on there trying to get and stay in shape while having fun.) Second, being a follower is a discipline. Whether it's studying the Bible, praying regularly, or serving others, it can be very hard. Remember, Jesus never promised we would have an easy life. However, just like with exercise, I believe there is a loophole. No, I am sorry, it does not involve sitting in church for an hour on Sunday and not doing anything else the rest of the week. Rather, it involves knowing your personality. No, you don't have to go read a book about identifying whether you're an ENTJ, an otter, or a red. While those do help, most people already know how they best grow and what their gifts are. For instance, I most grow by doing deep studies of Scripture. However, being that I work 40 hours a week (and am away from home for 50 hours considering my bike commute), as well as us having Dante, there isn't much time for me to do those studies. Therefore, I make the most use of my time by listening and relistening to chapters of the Bible. If something catches my ear, that is when I do what I can to make time for further study. In terms of my gifts for serving, I think mine is by being friendly. While I do need time to recharge, I have become more and more an extrovert over the years. Whether it's with the owner at the bike shop or my new coworkers, I have a knack for creating friendships. Through those, I get to throw in bits about Jesus and being a part of the Church.
Now, these loopholes can't be everything. I love biking and rowing, so those are what I primarily do at the gym. However, I know I need to keep up with my running, so every week or so, I try to run at least 3 miles straight. Similarly, with being a follower, I don't always love reading "Christian growth" books. However, they sometimes help stretch my brain (and my heart.) So we do our hard work. We love the fun work, but we also push through the "mundane" tasks as well.
Remember, one day, we hope to hear our hard work was not in vain, and that we will be greeted with, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Grace and peace,