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Finding Your Determination

by Lisa Manning on July 15, 2013

I don’t know her name and I have never seen her smile. But every time we are at the indoor pool, she has been there. She slowly hobbles into the room with a cane as her trusty companion. Slowly and methodically, she undresses and slides her away into the pool. Her laps begin. At times, her distorted body betrays her by propelling her backwards. While it  takes swimmers in the other lanes 30ish seconds to make their away across the pool, she spends almost 2 minutes of time to accomplish the same.  After 5-6 laps, she makes her away out of the pool. Her legs and arms are thin and frail. Her face shows the days of at least 70+ years. But in her eyes is determination. As she passes by today, she says “Do you homeschool?” I answer positively and she tells me “that is hard work” and then keeps walking. I smile but in my mind, I am thinking that my task isn’t nearly as difficult as what I have witnessed.

We all have those days.  The alarm rings for your first day of the new exercise program.  You turn it off and vow that you will start tomorrow.  The bathroom needs cleaned but instead 20 minutes is spent playing on Facebook.  You have a book in your head that you have never written because you have no idea where you could possibly find the time to put the words on paper.  So, you and I wait and nothing gets done.  The guilt comes and for some crazy reason, that only perpetuates the problem instead of motivating us.  Ten years pass by and the book still isn’t written, the “last 15 pounds” are still there and we are still feeling the remorse that we haven’t done what we wanted to do.  Hopefully…the bathroom did get cleaned at least once in the past 10 years though!  : )

What is it that causes that woman at the pool to come for a swim each morning knowing that her extreme effort only has small results and yet I can’t manage to maintain an exercise program for the long run?  What causes one person to be amazingly successful at the goals they set and their closest friend unable to even come close to achieving what they want to do?  Determination.

Determination. Surprisingly, the definition of determination on dictionary.com as “the act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose.”  We must make a conscious decision to do whatever the thing that needs to be done.  Doesn’t that give you hope?  We can make a different decision and muster up the determination to do it.

What gives you the Determination to do something and not give up? 

  • The pain of staying the same is finally greater than the pain of doing something different to get different results.
  • Your “Why” is well defined.  You may not want to get a second job if it just means getting more stuff or more money in the bank.  If your kids are hungry, however, you wouldn’t hesitate. 
  • You are MEANT to do the thing that you want to do.  Perhaps you never have the determination to get some particular done because God never called you to do it in the first place. 

Here is a secret for you from the Bible.  When I read this verse in the New International Version, the phrase used was not the phrase I memorized growing up.  After researching, the following words are the more literal translation.  Are you ready?

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Tim. 1:7

OUCH!!!!!  God gave us a spirit of self-discipline.  We can turn that into the determination to accomplish that task/goal/dream that we are thinking about.

What purpose do you need to settle? Go ahead.  Come to a decision about your purpose (or determine) and use the self-discipline God already gave you.  God has placed within you the ability to accomplish it!

Find yourself a cheerleader and make it happen! You CAN do it! 




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