Years ago, when I first began seriously considering my weight problem, I realized that losing weight demanded more than a reduction in calories. It also demanded an increase in activity. So I decided to walk.
I got in my car and made an oval circuit around my neighborhood discovering that I had driven ¾ of a mile. I could surely walk that far. Couldn’t I?
The next morning I arose at 6:30, laced up my walking shoes and walked out the gate. I lived in a pretty area – big trees, green lawns, and bright flowers, but I couldn’t concentrate on those things. All my thoughts and energy were devoted to simply taking the next step. I had not known how difficult it would be to drag that excess weight ¾ of a mile. By the time I reached home, I was drenched with sweat and wearier than I like to admit.
A friend said to me, “O, you’ll enjoy it more if you walk with someone if you have someone to talk to.”
“TALK,” I exclaimed. “Forget talking. I’m just trying to breathe!”
Do people who say, “Exercise helps me relax,” know about not exercising?
Walking became a serious business for me. At the outset, I didn’t do it because it was fun. I didn’t do it because I liked it. In fact, I can’t honestly say that I ever genuinely enjoyed it. I did it because I needed to, because it was good for me, because I benefited physically. People sometimes came out on the sidewalk to tell me how much they admired what I was doing, and how great I looked. I tried walking in the mall, but that didn’t work for me. The window displays were too distracting. So, back to my neighborhood where I kept walking until I was covering 2 miles each morning, and the scale readout proved the fruit of my effort.
Just as physical exercise is beneficial to my body, so, also, is spiritual exercise beneficial to my soul.
Psalm 119:1 – 3. “You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find Him. That’s right – you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road He set.”
“Walking steadily…straight… on the road,” that’s important.
My daddy was a farmer. Even up into his eighties, he loved to walk through the fields inspecting the crops judging whether or not this farmer knew what he was doing. I can see him now walking slowly with the help of a cane, the breeze ruffling his sparse white hair. He didn’t run. He didn’t jog. He just picked up his foot and put it down moving forward with each step, making slow, but steady progress toward his destination.
There are a lot of spiritual sprinters in the family of God. A sprinter is one who runs at top speed for a short distance. But he is not much good over the long haul. You’ve seen spiritual sprinters—so enthusiastic at the starting line, but when the road seems long—when the way becomes hard, their energy peters out and they’re finished.
In Hebrews 12:1, the Apostle Paul tells us that there is a race to be won. His advice to us is, “…Strip down, start running—and never quit…Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.”
There were mornings I didn’t want to walk. I wanted to groan, turn over and go back to sleep, but I walked regardless knowing that I would never reach my goal otherwise.
You say, “I don’t feel like reading the Word and praying and being obedient, and all that other stuff.” I know that feeling.
However, the Apostle Paul says, in I Corinthians 9:26 – 27. “…I am running hard for the finish line…I discipline my body and bring it into subjection…” Paul is saying, “Do it whether you feel like it or not. Just keep running until you cross the finish line.” The FINISH LINE is our goal!
Finally, Paul tells us in II Timothy 4:7 – 8. “Hoorah, hoorah, I’ve finished the race. The Crown is mine!” (Paraphrased)
One more thing! Beware of the detours.
Driving north on California 101 in the winter time, it is not unusual to encounter detour signs. That arrow leads you off the main highway, down a curving two-lane road, through the big trees and tiny villages. The detour may take fifteen minutes or two hours, but eventually and always, it leads you back to the main thoroughfare. Not so in our spiritual walk! Our enemy often places detours in our path with no intention of ever pointing us back to the right way. So keep your eyes on Jesus. He marks the path and leads the way.
In Psalm 119:10, the writer cried, “…don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted”
THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!!!
WALK IN HIS SUNLIGHT!