Keep on running!
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3 12-14
I did something this week that I haven’t been able to do since September last year- I managed to get on my mountain bike and go for a decent ride! The reason I hadn’t got out till now was due to some problems caused by a seemingly straight forward operation that I had towards the end of September that meant I wasn’t able to ride my bike without it causing me some issues. I had tried two or three times to go for a ride but on every occasion I had had to out the bike away and think again! I had also tried going for a run- something that I don’t have much experience of- this also caused me some issues so I had to stop. In short I, have found it hard to do any exercise for a few months and it was starting to annoy me!
It was great to get out in the fresh air today- the sun was shining and it felt good to get moving again…… for about twenty minutes that is! I had clearly forgotten that I am not totally ‘match fit’ and having gone off at my usual pace I soon realised that I wasn’t going to beat my usual time for the route I cycle and that I was feeling very tired!
So, at the twenty-minute point I had a few of options-
• Simply stop, phone Mrs Evs and get her to come and rescue me.
• Turn around and slowly limp home.
• Stop for a rest and then carry on.
• Man-up and keep going!
It is clear that all of the above options were the one I could choose and in my own mind I would have been able to justify any of them- In the end I decided on option three; I stopped for a couple of moments had a drink of water and then got going again even though I knew I had around 45 minutes ahead of me. And even though my time around the usual route was about ten minutes slower than in September I was really pleased to get all the way around and reach home with a sense of accomplishment- now I know to some cycling for a little over an hour is nothing to some of you- but for someone who hasn’t been able to ride for around five months I was quite pleased!
For each of us there are times in our lives when it just seems too hard- too tiring or as if giving up is the only option for whatever reason. For some of us in our walk as Christians there will be days when we feel like it is too hard to carry on with what God has given us to do for him- there will be days when it is all too much and either turning around and going the other way or getting someone else to rescue us Is tempting!
These are the days when we need to focus even more on our walk with God and rely on the strength that he gives us- In Hebrews 12 we read:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12 1-3
I have taken great encouragement from this piece of scripture in the past few weeks as I have had an increasing feeling of weariness. With more demands on me at home looking after the Small ones, work getting very busy because of an impending move to another station, demands on my time representing the CPA and my work for my own church I have had to choose option three from my list above ‘Stop for a rest and then carry on’. But I have definitely not given up or given in- I have just taken time to refocus on the Lord and not tried to do too much- this has given me a new energy and renewed focus to carry on with the work that God has given to me!
We can be inclined to believe that we simply have to keep going a record pace all of the time and that God doesn’t understand….. Well remember God knows us better than we know ourselves- and he understands that sometimes we do get a bit tired, but also when that happens he doesn’t abandon us- he is there for us!
From speaking to friends lately it is clear to me that I am not the only one who is feeling this way- whether it be the demands of a busy life or an issue or incident that has stopped you in your tracks I want to encourage you that God is bigger than that issue or incident and has your back- Give it to him, focus on him and if needs be ‘Stop for a rest and then carry on’ but don’t simply give in!
So this month if you are feeling weary or that everything is getting a bit much for you- be encouraged and don’t throw in the towel- if you need to take a rest then take it is Ok! Focus on spending time with the Lord and not doing too much and then when you are good to go again push onwards towards the goal, run with perseverance and do not grow weary