I love nature and having grown up in Southern California, I enjoy looking out my window to see living things. For me a vibrant garden is a reminder of God’s creative glory on display and it brings a much bigger smile to my face than a heap of dead, hot rocks.
One flowering shrub in my garden was newly planted last year. It is hardy and robust, producing beautiful clusters of lemon-yellow trumpet blooms, happy in the summer sun.
It is a fast grower, morphing delicate saplings into wooded branches in a matter of months. The problem with fast growers is that they usually have a mind of their own and don’t grow in a direction that is ideal for the long term health and beauty of the plant.
I would regularly peer out the window at wily vines and overgrown branches saying “I really need to tie those stems to the trellis to guide their growth.”
I knew what I needed to do. But I just didn’t do it for one reason or another.
Have you ever said this about your nutrition or your fitness routine?
As time lapsed on, I started to grow accustomed to the jungle look. “It’s not so bad” I’d rationalize to myself, “I can get it back on track whenever I want.”
Are we talking about gardens or health and fitness here? These rationalizations seem familiar.
A busy schedule. Stormy days. Heat waves. Whatever the reason, the branches were never properly affixed to the trellis.
Despite this, the flowers were abundant and the recent rains made for leaves of deep green generally foreign in the desert. However, the more it grew, the more the weight of this tropical beauty’s blooms took the branches in a horizontal direction.
Growth needs direction.
It was barely upright and the flowers now faced the earth.
Have you ever set out on your own towards a fitness or nutrition goal with conviction only to grow in a different direction than what you value most?
You go at it hard, like excessive heat and flooding rains, making quick-fix changes such as eating too few calories, skipping social gatherings to avoid temptation, and exercising for hours every day of the week while sacrificing rest.
After a few months you can see short term gains, but you aren’t noticing a positive change in the areas you value most to improve.
You are like the thick stemmed plant growing vigorously in the opposite direction of your goal.
Had I made little adjustments to my garden plant when starting out, it would be guided to grow toward the sun. However, because I waited so long to make the adjustment, the branches grew stiffer in the wrong direction. They were resistant to the direction change.
When more time lapses without accountability, resistance to making the adjustments needed becomes more difficult.
Growth needs direction or else all your blooms will face the ground.
Direction in fitness and nutrition comes from coaching, assessments, and accountability.
When it comes to fitness and nutrition, many people liken accountability with the tie on the trellis. They are fearful that they will be tied down to one way of doing things.
However, coaching, assessments, and accountability are very much like the trellis; an immovable and steady reminder of the direction you want to go.
Accountability says “Where are you now? What is working? What isn’t working? What are some steps you can take to improve and move in that direction you want to go?” It asks “Are my actions aligned with what God says in scripture and are they supported by science?”
You were created to grow upward. You are not meant to grow toward the ground and fade. You are not even made to grow into the trellis and blend. You are also not made to strive for health just for the sake of achieving it at any cost.
You are God’s creative glory on display. God gave us life and when we align our health and fitness plans with Him we will grow toward the Son.
Whether you’re just starting out or you need a little adjustment to your health and fitness plan, grow in such a way that others will see your blooms.
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