Who knows the quickest way to vary an exercise routine, strengthen the core without crunches, and achieve instant toning? My answer came from a childhood pastime — the hula hoop!
I was an adept hula hooping 10-year old, able to keep three at a time twirling my waist for over a hundred reps before they fell in a tangled heap. So, I sent Jim in search of the perfect hula hoop. He brought home a sky blue one adorned with flashers, and I envisioned instant success.
I cleared a space, poised the hoop at my waist and shoved it into a whirl. Clack! Two reps later, its flashers sparkled on the floor. I tried again…and again. After fifteen minutes and gasping from exertion, I maxed out at six hulas before losing the hoop to my feet. So much for instant success.
Reality set in. I wasn’t 10 years old anymore and needed 3 P’s — Patience, Practice, and Perseverance — to achieve my goals.
Saying “yes” to God’s calls upon my life hasn’t meant instant success either. Like with writing. I realize His blessings will often come only after time and the 3 P’s. Consider God’s message to the Israelites upon entering the Promised Land. He warned them He would take more than a year to give them possession of the land and drive out the enemy.
Why not immediately? Because the Israelites were too few in number. Wiping out the enemy too soon would disrupt nature’s balance and desolate the Israelites. They would possess the land, but over time and when they were strong enough to thrive as a nation.
God not making something happen immediately doesn’t mean He isn’t working on it. And, if I approach whatever God calls me to do with Patience, Practice, and Perseverance, then in His time, I will be strong enough to thrive in whatever work He plans for me.
Case in point — three days later, and I’m already up to 30 hula revolutions.
“I will send terror ahead of you to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals would multiply and threaten you. I will drive them out a little at a time until your population has increased enough to take possession of the land.” (Exodus 23:28-30, NLT)