“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.” - Hebrews 12:1-2
Thought for the day:
So... I am more than half way through 2019 and still running with a passion and loving it. I even achieved my goal for the 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon this past May. Each time I lace up my shoes, I realize once again how much I missed running regularly these past couple of years. I also realize how much more prepared I am to handle life after a run.
If you are anything like me, there are times when life threatens to overwhelm you. You know deep in your heart that you have to do things a bit differently. For me, I allowed “differently” to be defined as “virtually not at all.” As a result, the one real outlet in my life, that one thing I needed most, I gave up...
That happens in our faith journey as well. Sometimes living our faith becomes difficult because life is so overwhelming. The job isn’t going so well, the bills are adding up, the family is fighting, friendships are faltering. You get the picture. We know that something has to give; something has to change. We have to do things a bit differently. Occasionally, if you’re like me, we allow “differently” to be defined as “not at all.” The one thing we need the most, connection and conversation with God and with other Christians, we allow to “fall by the wayside.”
I’m doing things a bit differently now; instead of just running the roads, instead of doing the same course day in and day out, I am mixing it up a bit. I have found trail running to be challenging because I have to watch where I’m going - stumbling blocks are everywhere. In fact, I ended up doing a “tuck and roll” when a tree root reached out to grab me during one run. But I’m so much more engaged now. I have days when a simple, mindless long run is just what I need to refresh my mind, my soul, and my body... Other days, I need the added challenge of the trails or possibly speed work. Regardless, I’m gaining the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of running.
Perhaps, we would do well to approach our faith journey in the same way. Instead of just Sunday worship, mix it up a bit. Add in something to challenge your walk with God on a daily basis; maybe a different devotional. Try a Sunday school class or even a new Sunday school class. Perhaps participation in a small group will offer a different perspective.
If you really want to challenge yourself commit to reading a quality author who maintains a different Christian perspective than you are accustomed too. Change up your prayer life in subtle or significant ways or review the theology contained in your favorite hymns and praise songs. Allow your church family to help you grow.
The point is to get your faith flowing again. You can be sure that there will be stumbling blocks but approaching your faith differently will force you to engage God in a way that will enhance your connection and conversation, not just with God but with others as well! It will also make you much more prepared to handle life when it threatens to overwhelm you.
Prayer for the day: Heavenly Father, life can be overwhelming. Help me to engage with you today in ways that enhance my connection and conversation with you and those around me. Amen.