Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Pain of Obedience

On Saturday, I decided to extend the number of miles I run in one session. For years, I have been running no more than three miles at a pop because of how I trained in high school for track and cross country. We trained short distances. I have only run more than three miles at a time 3 or 4 times in my life, and one time nearly kept me from running forever because of my knee and the pounding it took.

But yesterday, I decided it was time to up the ante and start training for endurance. After my son's soccer practice, I decided to run home from the fields. I clocked out the mileage and it was exactly four miles. Granted it's not a lot more than three, but it's a start. I hope to get up to an average of 6-10 miles, but that will be a while. After mile three, I started to hear that little voice inside that said, "Your body has had enough. Three miles is your limit. STOP RUNNING!"

But then I started to pray. Sounds corny, but I did, mainly because of the pain. I didn't have to pray long before God came back to me with something that hit me like a ton of bricks. I started thinking back to the interactions I have had with my 4-year old son. How my wife and I have been working on him obeying us more. What came back to me was this: "How do you expect your son to obey you if you don't obey me?"

You may be asking yourself why this would come to me during a run? Well, I wanted to quit running. When all was said and done, I didn't want to hurt anymore. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do, do what would feel better. But God was teaching me something. He was pushing me to obey and finish out the run. It was a simple test of my ability to do what God had asked. I felt as though He simply asked me to finish running. Not for Him, not to make me hurt, not to lengthen my endurance, or even bring about a Forrest Gump moment. It was just to see if I would obey when I knew how much it would hurt to do so.

And that's all He asks. That no matter how much it may hurt our ego or our pride or our self-confidence, we must obey and endure the pain. Look at how much pain Jesus Christ endured on the cross for us. To simply finish out a run, talk with someone we don't necessarily want to talk to, or give up something we have earned: is that too much pain to ask us to endure for Him?

Time to honor through obedience,
Jesus Freak Out!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

For those of us with jobs, be appreciative right now, no matter how bad things may be or get. But, as someone I trust and admire once told me, take that job, kick it square in the butt and beat it until it is bleeding on the side of the road. Then kick it some more..............

In other words, do your job to the best of your ability, with diligence, drive, motivation, and most of all, joy in our hearts. Now that's not everyday. I know there are going to be bad days, but our overall attitude is reflected in our success. Strive to be the best, strive to do your best, work like there is no tomorrow, because there may not be. And while you are working diligently, don't forget that your work extends beyond that of your cubicle or office: your work extends out for Christ. I bet you can point to at least four people that sit around you that you are pretty sure don't know Christ. It's time to initiate some conversation.

I leave you with two passages to ponder and carry with you throughout your workday:

- Proverbs 10:4 (NIV)- "Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth."

- 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)- "So whether you eat or drink or WHATEVER you do, do it all
for the glory of God."

Working to Glorify My Awesome and Wonderful God,
Jesus Freak Out!