Two summers ago, I was training for a marathon in humid southeast Georgia. I had printed a running schedule off the Internet and was determined to stick with it. After making it through a half-marathon the previous October, I felt encouraged, excited.
Unfortunately, like many people in our culture, my enthusiasm for running fluctuated depending on the day. I found myself searching for excuses not to do it, pushing my running schedule around, trying to put off my longer mid-week runs as long as possible. I had to go running at dusk every day when the mosquitoes were at their worst, when the air was cooling down but still thick with humidity. There was a day when I was actually very motivated to run—a small miracle—but I looked outside and saw fat gray clouds collecting in the sky. On any other day, I might have stayed inside, but I had already used up my day of rest that week. I had no choice. I did my stretches and walked outside.
The rain started after I made it down the driveway. It was slow at first, but by the end of however many miles I had scheduled to run, I was soaked. Instead of getting upset that I had decided to stay inside and stay dry, I realized that the rain felt good. It cut a bit of the mugginess outside, kept the mosquitoes from biting me. I knew we were in a drought, and the cotton fields down the road would be grateful for the water falling from the sky.
I finished my run, wrung out my ponytail, and stretched afterwards. I remember thinking to myself that day, “Why don’t I do this all the time? Why don’t I cut through my excuses to the heart of the matter, which is that I really want to do this?”
The truth is that it’s easy to pretend that we don’t want to do things that are important to us. Whether it’s exercising, flossing our teeth, or spending time with God, we are quick to make any excuse to get us out of that obligation. But if we face those excuses head on, many times we will be relieved. We will figure out that, rain or shine, there is a reason we feel the weight of those obligations on our hearts. It is because we love these things, and often, they are the things that will save our lives.
In terms of the Christian life, often we make excuses for not spending time with God. But when we sit down with a cup of coffee and our Bibles, we find that it is the most rewarding parts of our day. What excuses keep you from spending time with God? How can you cut through those excuses?
New King James Version (NKJV)
The Race of Faith
12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
This post was written by Emily Haymans.