Sue’s Note: Jesus cautioned His disciples to beware of the cares of this world distracting them from the message of God. Oh, how easy it is to allow our task-filled lives to distract us from spending time nurturing our soul. Today, my friend, Stephen, describes how his spiritual equilibrium became off-kilter. His words speak volumes to me. I hope you read his post on Monday. I know you’ll enjoy the continuation of his message today.
by Stephen Robinson
In my post on Monday, I explained how my spiritual routine was disrupted last year when I needed to put my training for the CDA half Ironman on hold. What I realized during this time was that without a fitness goal, I really struggled to reach my spiritual goals. Failure is a great teacher! This lapse caused me to consider which words I longed to hear more:
“Stephen Robinson, You Are an Ironman” OR
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”
So why do I want to share this part of my story with you today? Why has Sue asked me to write about this topic? I believe it is because most of us start our year, month, week or even day with the best of intentions, but sometimes those don’t work out as planned.
“Today I am going to start my day in God’s Word; I am going to be a blessing to my co-workers;’ maybe I will share about the message from church on Sunday.”
Then, you rush out the door. Forget your coffee. Worse yet, someone doesn’t let you merge onto the freeway. Seems like your day can’t get any worse. Oh, I guess I just described what my recent Monday looked like! Perhaps a bad day may for you looks even much worse than that!
What I’ve realized is that after a bad start to my day, I can come up with so many reasons why I wouldn’t want to spend time with God. The truth, though, is that is when I need Him most.
My wife and I started a couch to 10K running program, sometimes we have to squeeze in a run at night.
The CDA Half Ironman is back again in June. I know I must start training now. It will take some time to catch up to my previous physical stamina, but I recognize if I wait much longer, I won’t be prepared to finish the race.
Currently, I am 76 days behind on my plan to finish reading the Bible in a year. I realize if I were to try and catch up on my reading plan in a couple of days, it wouldn’t work. (Just as I couldn’t possibly cram and train in a couple of days to be ready to compete in a half Ironman.) But, I also know if I keep procrastinating, I may miss God’s prompting through the “still, small voice” of the Holy Spirit because I’m not trained to hear it.
So, I’m ready to put forth the effort to prepare for the half Ironman in June. I’m also ready to throw off the hindrance of procrastination and that alarm clock snooze button and return to my routine of spiritual training.
Hebrews 12:1 has become one of my life verses.
“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” – Hebrews 12:1
Last fall, I had this verse tattooed on my forearm so I would always see it. It serves to remind me never to give up—whether training for a race or sticking to my scripture discipline.
Even though I know God loves me no matter what, I also realize that if I neglect the training disciplines, I may miss what the Lord is trying to do in me and through me.
What interferences are keeping you from your time with the Lord?
Perhaps your day begins in His Word without fail, to which I tip my cap. But, if like me, you find yourself in an undisciplined season of life, or if you’re traveling through a difficult valley, I would encourage you to start fresh tomorrow.
I recommend the YouVersion Bible app, which has plenty of different reading plans to choose from. Or, perhaps for you listening to a podcast or worship music is a more helpful way to prepare your heart to hear from God.
My wife and I do our best to start our day in His Word together.
I don’t know what the next step is in your journey, but I pray you will find a fresh rhythm in your walk with the Lord. I believe if you do, He will begin to reveal himself to you in a new way.
I hope my words have encouraged you to take whatever the next step in your journey may be…