The Best Kind of Motivation

“Look what you have gotten me to do!”

I smiled as I read the email sharing that a friend had received a Fitbit badge for walking 20,000 steps.  I set my phone down and wondered why I was getting credit for her accomplishment.

Several months ago, a few friends and I decided to give our friend a Fitbit for her birthday. Just like my Basis watch, a Fitbit is one of those trendy wristbands that tracks steps, sleep, how many times the refrigerator is opened or mean things are said to the children. Ok, it only tracks steps and sleep, but you get the idea.

My friends and I thought it would be a fun gift and gathered our funds together to make the purchase. Little did we know that our friend would fall in love with the whole concept and walk more steps than she has walked in years.

It has been fun to see our friend park a little farther away or take the stairs instead of the elevator. She constantly tells us how much she loves this gift. On a recent tour of DC, she walked her first 20,000 step day. The usual goal is 10K steps so it’s a big deal to double the goal. Just try walking 20k steps one day. It’s not an easy task.

Which is why Fitbit sends a congratulatory email with a big banner announcing the feat.

I loved when my friend forwarded the announcement, but wondered why we were getting any credit. My friends and I gave her the bracelet, but she did all the work.

We could have easily wrapped a pair of running shoes as a birthday present, and they might very well still be sitting in a box on the counter, unused and unappreciated.

I keep thinking about what it takes to motivate people, and I don’t think I have a clear answer. What motivates one person may annoy someone else. I suppose if I could write about how to motivate people all of the time, I would have a best seller! I do know that there was something about the gift that connected with the way our friend feels motivated.

I really love when I see someone motivated to make a change in his/her life.  Something deep stirs in me when I see true, legitimate change in another person. I might be wrong, but don’t we all just want to know that transformation is really possible?

I watched a story about a woman in Iowa who lost over 200 pounds by walking at the airport, which happens to be where she works. Her motivation came from a health scare when her doctor diagnosed her with Type 2 Diabetes. I love her story, but what I love even more than her physical change is the change in the way she now sees herself. She giggles as she says, “I didn’t want people looking at me. Now, you know, it’s like, ‘I’m here!!’”

We are all here, aren’t we? Sometimes we just lose sight of all that we have to offer and share and become. Stories like this remind me that with each step, we can become more of who we long to be. My prayer in sharing stories of hope is that we all would have a clearer picture of not only who God made us to be but also just how much He loves us. I believe God is creative and just and powerful, but do I really rest in the deep truth that He loves me? Do you?  Sometimes it is difficult to grasp that “nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” or that God “will rejoice over you with gladness,” but He does. It’s true. You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” . When we know we are loved, it changes us. It can motivate us too. I pray we could all know God’s love in a deeper way, so much so that it will lead us to thank God as we say to Him, “Look what you have gotten me to do!”