Have you ever heard something that you've heard before but put in different words? And because the words were simple yet profound it takes hold of you?
Our kids went to the Passion Conference this New Years Eve and we wanted to hear what they were getting. We turned on the live stream and I caught the first speaker Levi Lusko. His talk was aimed at the 18 - 25 year olds in the audience at Mercedes-Benz Stadium but this profound phrase stood out to me, made me stop, repeat it aloud and write it down before I forgot! This phrase was not just for them, it's applies to us all, regardless of our age or stage of life. 'Now Yells Louder but Later Lasts Longer' just seemed to grip my soul. I know what this is about, discipline, self control, and delayed gratification but I tend to respond best when things are stated simply!
I played college football and loved every minute of it; however, it took a toll on my body. What is lasting longer for me 30 years later is the hip, knee and shoulder pains that limit my activities today. I answered the call back in the '80's when it was screaming and yelling at me because I loved the game...but I'm paying for it now. No regrets but if I applied this principle after my playing days were over those pains may not be as bad. Ah, but it doesn't stop here! There is a point I want us all to understand and take personal.
The decisions we make now regarding our exercise and diets will have a long lasting effect on our health and performance. As walkers, runners, triathletes, weight lifters, etc. the future is near. Would I make the same decision to play in college if I had to do it all over again? YES! But, from my mid 20's through now I would change dramatically. I would apply this said principle to my spiritual life, my parenting, my relationship with my wife, my professional career, and my health and fitness. But, life doesn't give do overs so the only thing I can change now is my future.
I've made certain decisions lately, as small as they may be, that apply this principle. For example, I make every excuse why I should keep eating simple sugars (cookies, cake, candy, etc.). However, simple sugars have been linked to memory problems that runs on my father's side of the family which I highly favor. As the future comes, I'll know that the decisions I made today will result in the way I think and feel then. I want to be like cheese and fine wine, I want to get better with age.
Therefore, when 'Now Yells Louder' in the voice of 'you're tired, you don't need to run today' or 'I'll have another serving, I've earned it because I worked out this morning' or 'go ahead, one cookie won't hurt' (because for me it's never just one cookie...can I get an AMEN), I can counter that voice with resolve that 'Later Lasts Longer'. My future health is depending on it. Or as the great writer of most of the New Testament put it, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18 ESV. While this scripture does not necessarily apply to our later years of life, it can still remind us of the rewards we will reap not listening to the yells of the now. The discipline that it will take to make choices NOT for instant gratification, but for the greater things to come is difficult, however, doable. Enjoy the Journey and embrace the joy that will come with delayed gratification! May this New Year be one of change and the vision of the later lasting longer.