Physical fitness consistency has never been a strength, but in my senior year in high school, I thought an aerobics class might be a fun, easy way to fill the last of my P.E. credits. The problem was, I didn’t realize there were different Aerobics classes, and the one I ended up with on my schedule was Aerobics Training – meaning it was much more than just an easy P.E. credit.
During the first couple of weeks of school, we periodically completed multiple fitness assessments to track our progress throughout the semester. As someone who despises running and has never been quick, the timed mile was my most dreaded stumbling block. At first, I didn’t even attempt to run; I walked the whole thing, which was apparent in my time.
Just a few weeks into the semester, I was shocked to find an improvement in every category of my assessment. The daily focus on being active increased my endurance and strength. As the semester progressed, my effort and endurance increased, and by the end of the term, I had shaved almost four minutes off my timed mile.
Over the years, I’ve learned that spiritual muscles are no different. They require consistent use to become stronger and thrive. There is a powerful momentum that builds through consistency, one that develops an ability to continue to move forward no matter what obstacles we might face.
In 1 Nephi 14:1, it says that if we “hearken unto the Lamb of God…he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks.”
My stumbling block in my Aerobic Training class was running. Still, as I consistently focused on being active and increasing my stamina, that stumbling block became an advantage. The daily habits and routines of my training allowed for a physical change in my abilities.
Too often, I fall into the trap of thinking that effort only counts if it looks a certain way—that there are certain boxes to check for it to be meaningful or have a lasting impact. But I’ve noticed the most significant differences in my faith when my focus turns to consistency.
Consistently finding time to connect with heaven through scripture study, prayer and gratitude keep my spiritual muscles strong. I remain more aware of God’s hand in my life and can more easily feel the peace and relief He provides through life’s trials.
“Few things will accelerate your spiritual momentum more than realizing the Lord is helping you to move a mountain in your life.”Russell M. Nelson
It is through positive daily routines and habits that our spirits find nourishment and the kind of sustenance that increases our spiritual abilities and momentum.
Steven J. Lund said, “We can find spiritual confidence and peace as we nurture holy habits and righteous routines that can sustain and fuel the fires of our faith.”
Seeking spiritual confidence requires consistency. It is in the small and simple things that we can find steady growth. Consider what ways you might seek daily experiences to learn about God and how He works. Is it finding an extra minute to study a verse of scripture? Is it opening your heart in more fervent prayer, or could it be in recognizing more of the little miracles He sends you every day?
This week, try choosing one spiritual routine or habit you’d like to improve and focus on consistency. Every small effort counts.
Let go of any tendency to compare your effort to someone else, focus on what you can do, and then work to do it with consistency.