It's easy to look at your ideal self vs. your current self and, seeing the discrepancy, lose any inspiration to try and work towards the unachievable former. At the same time, trying to take change in giant leaps and pushes can wear you out, and the subsequent crash can put you lower than you were originally.
That's why there's two things I've been realizing about meaningful personal change: it does not happen quickly or easily, and it will not be successful if you try to be the sole driving force behind it. We are too frail, too easily distracted, and too easily satisfied. We will only fore ourselves so far without being pushed.
Hearing Isaac talk about our American version of Christianity vs. what Jesus told us the kingdom of heaven should look like got me started thinking about this again. About how when I compare my life and my intentions with what Jesus told us himself about who we are supposed to be, it is more disheartening than inspiring. I know my own weakness. I know how quick I am to give up, and how quick I am to pat myself on the back for small victories while turning a completely blind eye to the gaping holes in my life. I am not capable of standing and walking towards that ideal. I'm not.
But maybe Jesus doesn't need us to come confidently walking towards him by our own strength. He knows that we are bent under the weight of our sin and failure. Maybe all He needs is for us to crawl to His feet, and let Him take us by the hand, half-dragging us toward real Christianity.
The human reaction to failing (failing to serve Christ as we should) is to crash and burn. The supernatural reaction, the one that years of human history have proven to be highly improbable, is to look to someone that is ineffably greater than we are. To let ourselves be dragged up, through, and out of the muck that we've let ourselves be covered with. Change won't come as one smooth jump from our old self to a new, greater one. I believe we only grow by allowing ourselves to be pulled on by a grace that let's us, one heavy limping step at a time, approach real discipleship.