I have often prayed that God would do a work in my life. I imagined that there was some book, an event, or possibly a sermon that would catapult me into spiritual maturity. I always thought that spiritual growth was quick and easy, something equivalent to a five-step program. Sadly, I was mistaken. What I have come to learn is that spiritual growth happens over time, not overnight.

Because spiritual growth occurs slowly, I think we often miss it. Slow, progressive, long-term growth can go unnoticed. Those around us see us maturing, but we often miss this element of change. Have you ever tried to lose some serious weight? You work out and work out, but you don’t see the results. Then one day a friend says, “Hey, have you been working out? You look great!” How can they see the growth, or lack thereof, when we can’t?

I love a challenge, and every year I look forward to making my new year’s resolutions. In 2010, I challenged myself to read the Bible every day. It was nearing the end of the year, and I had done quite well. I had only missed five days. 360 days of reading the Bible was quite an accomplishment for me.

I sat in my office, working on my resolution for the coming year, when I decided to up the ante and read the Bible 360 days, for at least 30 minutes a day. As I thought about this and prayed about my resolution, I had a thought: How many hours will that total? So I quickly did the math (360 days x 30 minutes), and it came out to 180 hours. I kept looking at that number — 180, 180, 180 — and then it hit me. From that little decision, God was going to do a 180 in my life. How many people could use a 180 in their lives?

It is my prayer that your small decisions today will help you in your 180 to be more like Christ.