On Trauma, Disciplines and Getting Started

I hadn’t ridden my road bike in 22 months. After my friend Paul had been hit and killed on his bike, while riding a route that he and I used to ride together, I hadn’t been able to get on mine. A sort of mental block developed that wasn’t necessarily rational, but I couldn’t seem to get over.⁣

Then, as a part of some training with @thehumanbodylab, I was supposed to do a run, but shin splints required me to rest. He suggested I ride instead, and without thinking much about it, I got my bike out.⁣

A simple, pragmatic need that I didn’t think much about got me over that initial hump to start riding.⁣

Recently I’ve been working on a writing project where I’ve gotten stuck. A friend and mentor who’s written and published a lot of books offered to spend some time helping me think it through better. At one point when I was asking him some practical questions about how to organize it, he said, “I don’t know Mike, I think you have to start writing it to figure it out”⁣

For all kinds of reasons, we get in our own way. We put off the phone call we need to make. We never sign up for that class that was interesting. We talk ourselves out of asking them on a date. We don’t start the project, train for the race, write the article…⁣

And maybe sometimes the best thing we can do is just start. It may not be the best or the final, but the start gets you going. ⁣

A friend and I have been doing an experiment of practicing a different spiritual discipline together for a month at a time. Disciplines are essentially any thing that we do that opens us up for the Spirit of God to move us towards more and more of who were designed and created to be. Too often we have a vision or a desire to move towards being the kind of person Jesus opens up for us – loving our enemies, living without worry, trusting in the abundance of a good God, living self aware and non judgmentally…But we’ve never moved beyond singing about it or being inspired by a sermon or a podcast or a book. And at some point, we have to start. We experiment and we try and we figure out what disciplines will be most helpful. But it only happens when we start. ⁣

I wonder, what is it that you just need to start?

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