This could be titled (or subtitled) "It Only Takes a Spark ... Part 2." I think I've written on it before. But it has stayed with me in the past week, as I've continued to make progress on praying and acting to stay out of stagnation, even as I am so aware (from constant reminders) of how easy it is to fall back into the negative patterns.
In a word, the willingness formula, for me, is prayer. "For Today," an Overeaters Anonymous daily devotion book I've been reading for more than 20 years, expresses it in a way that has continued to ring true for me: "What is the willingness formula? Prayer. When the miracle happens, I watch a defect evaporate, a task easily done, a problem solved. God does for me what I cannot do for myself." This is the Jan. 20 reading, but it's one I often return to, any day of the year. Before giving the formula, it perfectly describes the leadup for me: "When a job or situation or personal problem seemed too hard, I used to say, 'I can't do it.' In OA, I have tapped a source of power greater than myself. All I need to start the action is willingness. Sometimes willingness comes easily, sometimes it is locked head-on with defiance. Then I feel heavy with the load."
Growing up in loving, Christian, church-going family, I've always had the power of prayer in my life, but I guess I needed a 12-step program to get the escape mechanism out of the way enough to begin learning to really seek and trust God. In the years since that journey began, the spiritual experience of church, organized religion and Christian fellowship (and family and friendship!) has blossomed amazingly.
Blossomed. Where did that word come from? Well, it brings to mind a flower bed, which I have no experience with. But I know that for the plants to blossom and flourish, they must be tended properly. The same is true of my spirit. I pray for willingness and ability to stay on this path of seeking God, trusting God, obeying God and praising God, to His glory.