Run The Race
Spring is back and along with sunshine and warmer temperatures comes a desire to hit the pavement. Winter was unkind and I have to admit, I didn’t do much exercising this winter. Remember when you were a little kid and how much you loved cold weather and bundling up to go out and play in the snow? Yeah, I forgot too. It isn’t that I couldn’t have gone to the gym, I pay for a membership, but I was just plain lazy. I had worked out a pretty good workout regimen until they closed the pool on Labor Day. I would rather be swimming in a pool and doing water aerobics seven days a week than on a treadmill any day. The problem is if you don’t keep up with exercising, you lose all your momentum, stamina and muscle.
Last Monday was the first day since last October that I made a dedicated plan to walk outside. I drove to the local park (don’t judge me, have you seen Maryland traffic?) and parked my car and began my walk. At first I thought I’m doing pretty well, however that was just getting out of the car, then came the flat land. I kept looking down at my phone because I was sure I had walked at least a mile and I looked down and it says .25 miles. I’m thinking to myself, are you kidding? Then I faced my first hill. I huffed and puffed and had no air to blow anybody’s house down. It was bad. Then I thought, why had I let myself get back to this point again? If I had kept exercising, I would have breezed through the hills and might have even been able to jog. When we neglect our bodies, we should expect there is going to be an impact on our physical body. It doesn’t take long to lose muscle tone, stamina or strength. If I am not committed to disciplining my body to get in shape, I will never be able to enter a race, let alone complete one. In order to win a race you have to be focused, committed and disciplined.
It is the same with our relationship with God. If we take a few days, weeks or season off from spending time with God we should expect it is going to be hard to get back in the routine. If we aren’t actively pursuing our relationship with God we should expect there to be some problems. When we don’t keep our commitment, we lose our discipline and our focus. I know if I’m not talking with God on daily basis, I am not as sensitive to His voice. If I don’t spend time in the Word of God I find it hard to distinguish the truth of His promises versus what the world wants me to believe. My lack of discipline causes me to run out of love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and most of all love. I become frustrated, disappointed and angry because I am trying to run against a broken world that is completely opposite of God’s desire for my life. It is when we are out of breath and realize we can no longer run or walk on our own we find ourselves on our knees asking God to help us get up and help us to walk again.
A new season is here and I want to encourage each of you who have taken a season off for whatever reason to get back on track. God is waiting patiently and ready to help you and I get back in the race. Your race isn’t finished and still needs to be completed. The prize is within your grasp and the reward is great! Keep fighting the good fight and let your light shine!
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God,
through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:14 (NLT)