As a human, I found myself always experience lapses, that is when i fell short of goals and expectations I made. I believe it is also happening to all the people in the world. We set high goals and lofty ideals in our mind and yet in the end somehow it fail miserably. Personally i feel it really depressing when I committed that. Do you?
It turns out that if you try to filter the people on the main causes of why those failures happens, they would most likely cite laziness & distraction (there’s lot of other factors but at this context i just want explain those two). Laziness is inward and it’s just about our inability to push harder. By distraction it’s external. I mean something which happened out of control and our readiness is not up to it. It can be a form of negative state of mind, misput deeds, somebody ruining our day, or whatever it is that’s out of the blue. However in my humble opinion, the chief of those thow is laziness. Our unreadiness in facing the unexpected things is the proof that we’re not dilligent enough in maintaining our sober countenance. But how does this laziness seems to be inherent in every human? In which it keeps tempting us?
Of that, have you ever heard the Native American story about the Two Wolves? If you haven’t heard about it yet (or maybe forgetting it), read this.
As a Christian, I see the symbolism of the White Wolf as Spirit and the Black Wolf as Flesh. We’re all born with both of them. And I think the best verse in explaining the nature of those two is:
(Mark 14:38b [ESV2011])
“The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Whatever the age, the spirit is always willing; there’s always moral echoes in our heart wooing us toward the right. But our our flesh and the desire within often make the echoes fainter. This is a spiritual battle in every human heart. By the phrase “flesh is weak” it means that since we’re encased in this fleshly body, we’re bound to be weakened by it. This flesh is temporal and is affected by time just like its associated desires. This laziness comes from the flesh as well. In the face of it, i believe there’s the solution:
(Gal 5:16-17 [ESV2011])
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
So I believe that as Christians, we all have to DISCIPLINE ourselves, that is to deny every beckonings of the Black Wolf (flesh) every single hour as much as we can, but instead feeding the White Wolf (spirit). This is also true to humanist context in which whatever human achievements we can make, it will all stand to nothing when we resort to our fleshly natures.
By that discipline we’ll form a habit which increasingly helps us to live our best life as Christian. It’s no easy feat indeed, as in fact it’s a lifelong struggle. Truly we have to depend on God as by Him alone we can accomplish it. The notion also helps us to cherish the moments, be it good or bad instead of regretting.
Keep in mind as well, that the habit in spirit will always compels us to do our best for God who is Eternal and unchanging. This spirit is different than the spirit of the world where people work best only to please their masters who eventually just accomplishing their will in flesh. The works of the flesh are seen but temporal while the works of the spirit are unseen and eternal.
Fleshly, our mortal bodies will pass away as much as the world we live in. Vanity of vanities. Spiritually, we’ll live together with Christ the Son of the Living God for ever and ever. Amen
(1Cor 9:24-25 [LEB])
Do you not know that those who run in the stadium all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes exercises self-control in all things. Thus those do so in order that they may receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.