The Magic Formula for Results: Work, Work, Work

049When my seven-year-old daughter was four, she said she wanted to plant some acorns. I asked her why, and she said, “So I can have a tire swing!”

It was precious, to say the least.

She did not realize that it takes years and years for an acorn to grow into an oak tree strong enough to support a swing.  As I learned how to run, and as I’ve made small steps towards eating healthier, the lesson I’ve learned is this: I don’t realize it takes years and years for an acorn to grow into an oak tree.

OK, sure, I understand the scientific process of seed to seedling to small tree to a larger tree. But when it comes to things in 048my life where I’d like to see growth or change, I want to go directly from the acorn to the oak tree. I see where I need to be, and I’d like to be there right now without all the slow growing stuff. Thank. You. Very. Much.

I’m currently reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. The subtitle is “What I learned while editing my life.” He tells the story of what it was like when some producers wanted to make a movie out of his life, and how that process gave him a new outlook on what it means to tell a good story and what it means to live a good life. I’m half-way through, and I’m really enjoying it.

I was reading on Saturday, which was also Day 2 of the No Sugar {ish} Challenge. I was wondering who the silly person was who suggested doing this challenge. And then I remembered it was me. I was feeling like it was a bad idea, when I came across this paragraph in the book:

Here’s the truth about telling stories with your life. It’s going to sound like a great idea, and you are going to get excited about it, and when it comes time to do the work, you’re not going to want to do it. It’s like that with writing books, and it’s like that with life. People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain. — Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

Oh how true that is! Lots of things sound like great ideas, until you realize how much work is going to be involved. Jessica has an inspiring story!  But she didn’t see the results that she has by just reading about other people or dreaming about losing weight. She put in a lot of work. A lot of work.

A few years ago, I was participating in a Bible study that talked about Naaman, a man described in 2 Kings 5 as being a commander in an army and a valiant soldier. He also had leprosy. He ended up going to the prophet Elisha for healing. Elisha did not speak to him directly, but sent a messenger to instruct Naaman to wash in the Jordan River seven times to be healed. Naaman was quite angry and says in verse 11, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.”

So often I want the same as Naaman. I want God to wave His hand over me and cure me instantaneously. I want a magic wand.

The truth is I need to work. I need to continue to work, even when I don’t feel like it. I need to remember the greater story that I am pursuing. Every time I lace up my running shoes or choose the apple over the cookie, I’m doing the work. If you’re a member of The Journey, you’ve already planted your acorn. Some of you are already strong trees. As we keep making those small changes, we will see growth. And if we keep putting in the work, one day our branches will be strong enough to hold tire swings.

–Cori 🙂



3 thoughts on “The Magic Formula for Results: Work, Work, Work

  1. Pingback: Rest, Relax, Refresh, Repeat | The Journey

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  3. Pingback: For When You Fall Off the Wagon | The Journey

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