Lord, time truly flies. I know that it won’t be long before I am standing in your presence. That is why I cannot grieve long over those who have gone ahead of me. I miss them, but know that they are free from the struggles of this earth and would never want them back here. I will see them in the blink of an eye, and I know that all that counts on this side of eternity are the eternal things—loving You and loving people. Yet, I feel that I am not consistent in anything. Life gets in the way of my best intentions, and though I desire to put You first, the constant demands of life tend to drown out the eternal. I know that much of the problem is just me. Scripture tells me to love You with all of my heart, soul, and strength. That last word hits home as I think about my weak attempts at physical strength training. I may get to the gym once or twice a week, and when I do there’s really no plan. I run back and forth in the water, and use the resistance weights on and off, but there’s no real strategy to achieve my goal. In fact, I don’t even set goals. I see the same problem across the board—from physical exercise, to work, to personal life, to spiritual life. I build no strength, because I lack the self-discipline and consistency needed to build it.
Athletes are consistent. I am consistent with nothing. It takes so little to get me off track. It doesn’t help that my schedule changes from day to day, but that was my choice—a choice that fits my impulsive personality. I hate routine, but it’s quite apparent I need it. Paul often compared the Christian life to competing in an athletic competition. “Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore, I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:25-27). Every day of my life feels like an exercise in futility—like beating the air. I call it spinning my wheels. Lord, please help me overcome myself! Help me run with endurance the race set before me, and help me to see the goal! Actually, Hebrews 12:2 tells me I should run it by keeping my eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of my faith. I must look at his example of endurance, and his determination to finish the work the Father sent him to accomplish. Make me resolute Lord. Strengthen me in this weakness of mine, and teach me how to overcome my inconsistent nature. I surrender it to You now. I am desperate for your help! Amen
My child, you did get some athletic training when you were growing up. Remember how you couldn’t wait for baseball season? You practiced every chance you could, because you loved it. The same was true of tennis. Yes, it required self-discipline, but it was born out of a love for the games. Keep that in mind, or you will quickly become legalistic. Everything you do must be born out of love. You must run towards Me, and I will give you the strength you need. I did not make you a “type A” personality, and I intend to use you with the gifts and strengths I have given you. Yes, you must “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God,” but in order to do that you must have Me in your sights. You need only make yourself available to Me consistently. I do not ask for more than that. Do not turn this into a list of requirements, or you will fail very quickly. Run the race because you love Me, and because you love people. Set your goals with that love in mind. Even your physical exercise should be born out of love for Me, and a desire to honor Me in all you do. Make the time and I will do the rest. This means you cannot give in to every demand life throws your way. You must make choices, but that is easy when your priorities are correct. The real battle is choosing what is most important. Put Me first, and everything else will fall in place. I will bring order as you run towards Me.