I once prayed for a job, any job. After 50 applications submitted, not one prospective employer called me. When I called and followed up on the applications, none brought me in for an interview. Once I finally did get a job (by walking into a business and refusing to fill out an application without meeting with and speaking at length with the manager) I was happy to work whenever and however.
However and whenever meant 7 day work weeks. And the wear of 7 day work weeks took its toll early. For nearly 8 years I prayed for the day that I wouldn’t have to work 7 days per week. Soon 6 became 5. Then 5 gave way to 4. Last, 4 yielded to 3.5. To be fair, in those 3.5 I still log over 40 hours. But, no budgets, bosses, commutes. Of my 130 waking hours each week, 90 are free and mostly with family. I could have taken that 90 and given 45 more to work EASILY. An 85 to 100 hour work week used to be typical for me. Nowadays, it would mean an additional amount of income which sounds absurd to most people. But instead of collecting mountains of gold for the past 8 years, I’m content to be with my kids every single day.
The number of leads and amount of business I’ve turned away in just the past 3 years would make people physically ill if they heard me put the number on it. If I would’ve simply kept working the way I used to, I could have lots of homes and cars and planes. But I didn’t pray for those things. I prayed for these things. I made a trade to be present for my family and care for my own health. And I’m thankful for it.
We perform many trades in life. As we trade away one future, we realize another one. We prayed for this. There are two ways to view that sum total of our trades: grateful or ungrateful.
The pandemic may contain some challenges. But people prayed to be home more. People prayed for character. People prayed for resourcefulness. Well, we received all of that in spades. Yes, there are other things we’d like and many scenarios we’d prefer weren’t happening. But that’s an ingrate perspective: continually dwelling on what you DON’T HAVE. Try to remember the days you prayed for what you DO HAVE.
In health and fitness, this is most challenging. You prayed for this. Many times. In many different forms. Not the weight you’re looking to lose or the physical weakness you lament. But you prayed for all of the things you have instead of that lost weight and epic strength. The movies you saw. The cheese fries you ate. All of those moments you got when you refused the gym. You traded for the precise outcome you currently have. You prayed for fun. You prayed for rest. You got it. The thousands of hours you didn’t spend on training and exercise, this is what you received in return. Be grateful. Moreover, be deeply grateful the situation isn’t worse. It could be worse. You could be dying of heart failure right now. You could be having a stroke. Remember the days you prayed for what you have now.
People have a tendency to think about or even yearn for an alternative life. But we traded that life away. We prayed that life away. We got this in its place. Remember the days you prayed for what you have now. I do.