Moving Forward When Life Pushes Back
Have you ever taken a step forward just to have something cause you to take two steps back? This is the momentum two-step. It’s the dance we do when we try to get disciplined, move in a new direction, or buckle down and face something we have been avoiding only to have an immediate setback.
Working it Out
This can show up in small and significant ways. Can you relate to any of these… You decide to go to the gym before work only to realize you left something at home and can’t work out. Ah! So frustrating. What about when you choose to end a relationship and you immediately feel the void of being alone and not having someone? That vacuum can suck the strongest of us back into a hole we swore we’d never fall back into.
This can happen in our spiritual life as well. We get serious about spending more time with God, breaking a habit, or pursuing holiness then find ourselves sleeping in or making some poor decisions. This can make us feel like our best efforts are worthless. One step forward, and two steps back. Is this how it always has to be?
I have a cajun cousin that owns a couple large racing go-karts. You heard me right. They are kind of like Power Wheels for adults. One day he invited me to ride with him on the levees that run alongside the Mississippi River near his home. His only word of advice was don’t try to turn if one of my tires gets caught in a rut. It could cause my entire kart to flip.
Can you guess what happened? I gut stuck in rut, freaked out, and tried to turn out of it. The dried clay was like concrete and sent my cart tumbling down the side of the levee. There was a cage around the driver’s seat that kept me safe. I was totally fine besides being embarrassed when my cousin found me hanging upside down at the bottom of the levee.
Decisions Have Momentum
When we make decisions, either good or bad, we create ruts in our life that harden over time. They can feel impossible to get out of. We need to consider this when we are making the first positive decision after a series of negative decisions or indecision. Taking the first step is not only without its own momentum yet, but also goes against the momentum we already have from our previous direction. This creates the two steps back, but it doesn’t go this way forever
The first step in the right direction can feel like it is sending us tumbling down a hill. This does not mean that God is resisting us or we are making a wrong choice. It’s not a sign that we aren’t blessed or the victim of some bad karma. It just means you haven’t created enough new momentum and are still facing resistance from your old momentum.
Find Your Rut
Life is full of ruts. This is a good thing. It means you can also create ruts that make it easy to continue doing the right thing and hard to do the wrong thing. Right now the momentum two-step may be making it hard to get you going in a new direction. It also should encourage you. If you keep moving in the right direction the momentum two-step will help you keep the wind in your sails.