Spiritual Formation

The Consistency of Some…

What does it do for you?

Or maybe a better question is what does it do to you?

The consistency of some…

How would you answer that question, or complete that statement?

I live out in the country — and I love it! And as I make my way into the city each day I will inevitably pass several runners — and their consistency inspires me.

In fact, some are so consistent that I can often predict who I will pass on my morning commute based on what time I’m leaving my home.

On days when I’m trying to get into the office early, and I’m up and out between 6:30 and 7, I will almost always pass the same older gentleman as I wind through the back country roads. I would guess that he’s probably in his 60s, and although I see him consistently — I wouldn’t say he’s in the best of shape. But he’s out there — and he’s always smiling and quick to give a wave to those who make room for him on the shoulderless roadways.

His consistency inspires me.

Likewise, on days when I wait to see my son get on the bus — and don’t leave home until a little after 8 — it’s almost a guarantee that I’ll see the same middle-aged woman out pounding the pavement. You can tell from her tall, slender frame and her quick pace that she’s been a runner for quite some time. So much so that she rarely (that I’ve seen) ever acknowledges the cars that come zooming (within inches) of her as she methodically pushes her self around the countryside.

Her consistency inspires me.

And there are plenty of others I could mention… But what struck me this morning was that — as a one-time runner, and now, wannabe runner — I was inspired by this old guy that was quietly and consistently giving himself to a process. Inspired, and not frustrated.

Inspired — and not frustrated.

I don’t know that this would have been the case earlier in my life.

I’d like to think that I would have been inspired, and not frustrated — happy for them, and not envious — but I don’t know that I can make that claim.

I think when we see the consistency (or the discipline) we want — in others — are gut-level response is either inspiration or frustration.

We can make the choice to feed off of the consistency of others (or even the consistency we experience in another part of our own life) and allow it to spur us on to consistency and discipline in a part of our life that might be lacking it.

OR — we allow ourselves to become frustrated by the consistency we see in others — and lament the fact that it seems to have gone missing in our own life.

I know there are times when I still find myself in the latter of these two categories — but the longer I live, the less I feel compelled to compare or judge myself against the life and accomplishments of others.

Maybe it’s something that comes with age?

Or maybe it has more to do with knowing that God has made me to be me — and not someone else — and so my job is to simply be the best me that I can be.

And so I wonder this morning — which of these might describe you?

What does the consistency of some do for you?

What do your students see in you?

What do you see in your students?


  • Yea dude. Yea. Especially as a young man in ministry I often look at others and think, vain as it may seem, that, “I can/could do that. In fact, I think I could do it better.” So I often find myself before God saying, “What’s up with that? What’s up with me? Am I to be challenged by this? Encouraged? Discouraged? Care at all?”

    Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between frustration and inspiration because while being inspired to do something, I can become frustrated at myself that I haven’t already done it. Ya know?