Do you like to run or exercise? For me I really can't stand it. I know I need to exercise in order to stay in shape for my job. I wanted to share a quick story with you that happened to me last year. I told Wendy I would like to start running with her every day so I could stay in shape. I have not ran regularly since the 8th grade tennis days. So one afternoon we decided to go running around the neighborhood where Wendy has marked out a 4 mile track. I was thinking to myself I can surely do four miles. So she begins to start stretching, grabs some water, her headphones, her phone, her mace, her key, and her running shoes. I said, "Are you ready yet? My goodness I could have already ran the four miles by the time it takes you to get ready." She said, "If you want to go ahead I'll catch up." I started laughing. I said, "You wouldn't catch up to me." She just said, "hmmmm...." and smiled. So I decided to wait just because I said we would run together, and to be honest I really didn't want to shame her. ;)
So after about what seemed to be 7 hours later we finally got started. We just start walking at first, just to loosen up our legs. After a few minutes something told her on her phone to start running. She is following some schedule that keeps up with her heart rate. So as we began to run, we are stride for stride. I'm feeling pretty good. I know you're thinking already where this story is going. Well, you're probably correct. After about a 1/2 mile, I am already tired. My feet hurt because I don't have the right shoes, I'm thirsty because I didn't bring any water, I'm bored because she isn't talking to me because she is listening to her music, and my legs are killing me because I didn't really stretch.
So after about 10 minutes in the run I noticed she is moving further and further ahead of me. I'm thinking to myself she will slow down sooner than later for I'm just pacing myself like a well trained Thoroughbred. Well I see her turn her head at me as she is over 100 yards ahead and begins to wave at me to hurry and catch up to her. What she didn't realize was I could barely feel my feet, and I am done in. I mean I hurt so bad that it felt like I was running on needles.
I start slowing down even further and just waved at her to just keep going (save yourself). Well she is out of site for about 10 minutes until I noticed footsteps behind me. She had already ran the track and was about to lap me. At this point I was not giving up and was determined to make that mile.
So the next thing I know is she is passing me and gets another 50 yards in front of me until some couple stops her. I'm thinking that's weird. What in the world are they saying to her. I noticed they all turned to my direction and started pointing. So I begin to start looking behind me and wonder what is going on. I could only assume it was an animal chasing us, or something crazy for this couple to stop Wendy in her tracks. Next thing I see is all of them laughing. I'm thinking to myself now this is really weird. I start to realize there was not Pit Bull chasing us. There was nothing major going on. They were laughing and pointing at me. So I see Wendy continue to start running, and this couple was just standing there waiting for the opportunity to say something to me. I knew what they were going to say, but I wasn't going to give them the satisfaction. So I get up to them, and before they could say a word I just said, "Is she mad at me because I'm about to lap her?". They said not exactly, we stopped her because we wanted to let her know that a creepy man was following her. Well we all just laughed, but mainly just them.
I tell you this story for several reasons. Do you ever think you can do something and to find out you're really not prepared? Do you try and do things for the Lord, or at church, but after a few days, weeks, or months you stop doing it because you can't see any good in it? Well, I can't think of the amount of times I have tried something and it falls in my face. Or what I think is a good idea, isn't so good after all.
We as Christian's need to try and branch out in new areas so that we can grow. However, we do need to pray and be prepared though. Like Wendy, she was prepared. She got all that stretching done, grabbed that rocky music, cold water, mace, and good running shoes so she could make that distance. We need to be prepared if we are going to make a run in our race for the Lord. What if we were willing to take the time to be prepared? Maybe through studying more of the bible. Maybe showing up for Sunday school for the first time rather than just worship. These areas of preparation would begin to start getting us ready for that run.
I know if I had done everything that Wendy did before we left the house I would have still not been able to keep up with her. She has been training her body and conditioning her mind for years. We can't just start running until we learn to walk. We can't start walking before we learn to crawl. We can't start to crawl if were being held all the time.
We need to start taking responsibility for our own race with God. He is waiting at the finish line for you. Don't you want to say this to Jesus? "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." as found in 2 Timothy 4:7.
Final words tonight: Get prepared, give it a try, and don't give up! We have to be prepared before we should try something. Pray about it. If you feel lead to do something, than do it. How do we grow if were always being held?