My alarm went off. I stepped out of bed ready to start a new job in a completely different field. This wasn’t just a job, it might be a completely different career for me. It was May 2007 and we had moved to a new city in a new state for me to start this job. So many emotions were flooding through me…excitement, nervousness, and some anxiety. It was during this emotional moment, that I looked down and realized something. I couldn’t see my feet. They weren’t missing, they were blocked. I bent over to one side and then the other side just to make sure my feet were accounted for. They were!The object blocking the view of feet, however, was my stomach! I don’t know what happened. Apparently, the bowls of late night ice cream, Taco Bell meals and completely unhealthy choices all caught up with me. I was now at my highest weight…ever.
I prayed for my weight to shed. I hoped my weight would be fixed. As a pastor, I even applied oil on my body and prayed the special ‘pastor’s prayer’ that had worked for others when I had visited them in the hospitals, but nothing worked. I think I even gained more weight.
I knew I gained a ‘few pounds’ since high school and college. I had no idea just how much, though. Later that day, when I started my new job, I had to get on the scale for my physical. My jaw dropped when I saw the actual number on the scale. Luckily it didn’t drop too far because my other chins caught my jaw and ensured a safe landing. 298 lbs! Yep, that was definitely a lot of weight after college!
Something went off in my mind when I saw 298 lbs. I knew I had to change. I set a goal to lose 100 lbs. I didn’t set a time and date because I wanted to make sure I lost the weight in a healthy way. I didn’t want a diet pill, shake or surgery.
I knew in order to accomplish this goal, it wasn’t enough to hope for it or just set a goal. I needed to give it attention and intentionality. I decided to do just that and came up with a plan.
The place I worked at had a gym that was open 24 hours. I worked second shift, so that meant 4pm to 2:30 am most nights. I decided to workout after work most of the time. I started by walking/ running on the treadmill. I would walk 90 seconds and run 30 seconds. My initial goal was to run a full 20 minutes without stopping. In a few months, I was able to accomplish that! I remember my first night on the treadmill vividly. I was walking on the treadmill and the gym was full of ‘pros’. These people knew what they were doing. The made lifting weights and running look so easy!
Looking around, I thought ‘Why am I here? I look like a fool. My stomach and legs won’t stop jiggling. My feet hurt, my knees hurt…” I wanted to stop. I was going to stop until the images of Shad and Carson’s faces flashed in front of my mind. My sons. They kept me on the treadmill. God spoke very clearly to me. If I was going to accomplish all that God had in store for me to accomplish, I was going to have to have the physical ability to do so. If I wanted to become the best dad that my sons deserve, if I wanted to be the dad that I never had, I had to stay on the treadmill.
November 7th, 2014 my goal of losing 100 pounds was accomplished! I’ve floated up and down since that day, but that day stands out to me as a great memory. To see that goal realized took time, attention and intentionality. My diet changed and my workouts changed throughout those seven years.They still do. I’m currently doing an intense lifting regimen and trying to reign in my eating habits.
Legacy and heritage…. strange words. What are your goals? What are you hoping for? Parents, have you ever thought of what your heritage and legacy will be for your children?
There is a common idea in building and engineering, “Start with the end in mind”. When we start with the end in mind, we look beyond just the initial needs. The author of Proverbs mentions this in an infamous verse, Proverbs 22:6. “…even when he’s old he won’t depart from it.”
We won’t improve anything by accident. It takes intention and attention in order to accomplish any set of goals. I don’t care how talented you are, how rich or poor you are, goals can only be accomplished when we give them attention and intention. If we don’t give them attention and intentionality, we won’t accomplish anything worth accomplishing.
My goal of losing 100 lbs wasn’t accomplished by prayer alone. Prayer is absolutely necessary. It’s crucial. I’ve come to realize that prayer is not just me praying and asking God to grant my requests. I believe that God’s main concern is me becoming the man He created me to be, doing what He created me to do.
I believe prayer helps me find out where God is working and how God is working. Prayer helps me find the best possible path to accomplish the task He has for me.
Every January, I set a HUGE goal for my life. A few years ago, it was to smile more. Another goal was for me to genuinely communicate that I cared. This year my goal is to plant the gospel and have a church show up! This is a huge goal. I can’t wait to see RE.THINK Church reach our full potential in Merrillville, IN. I’m grateful to have an amazing team of people around me. Specifically my family! My wife, Heather, is an amazing part of my team. I wouldn’t trade her for anything! My sons are also learning another element of legacy and heritage while we live out #ulrichadventures.
Do you have a goal worth accomplishing? If not, pray for God to help you identify something in your life to improve. When we do this, we add value to our heritage and legacy. If you already have a goal, have you prayed for God to reveal the best path to accomplish it? Have you given your goal attention and intentionality?