Tuesday, May 3, 2016
I was talking with a friend of mine over coffee this morning about the habits in our lives. We are both runners and push each other to keep putting in miles and improving our fitness. We also encourage each other in our spiritual life and the pursuit of things that are eternal. There are enjoyable parts of each of these areas of our life even though we readily admit our struggles in consistency of effort and success.
I was sharing how I had run in Arizona last week on our mission trip and how difficult it was at an elevation of 6500 feet above sea level. On one of my running days out there, there was also a headwind of 25-45 miles per hour. Needless to say, it wasn't one of my best days on the road, but I persevered and finished anyway.
The realization hit us both that this isn't too different from our spiritual focus. There are times when everything we do seems to come easy. Understanding Scripture almost seems second nature, our prayers are focused and powerful, and even meditation is extremely fruitful. There are also times when it seems as if I am reading the Bible in a language I've never seen before, I can't keep a prayer focused for ten seconds, and any attempt to meditate is quickly squashed by my own energy.
I don't stop running when I have a difficult day(s) on the roads, but I push through and then get ready for the next one with an anticipation of it being better. I'm learning to do the same thing with my spiritual practices. Even though I may get frustrated with what I feel is a lack of progress, I push through and get ready for the next day with the anticipation of it being better. It may not radically improve in one day, but I believe it will happen if I keep working on it without giving up too soon.