I like to see progress. Lately, I have been trying to get back into basketball shape. Yes, church league (we are talking elbows, middle-aged "uncle ricos," and young college guys). The last few days I have been running on the treadmill to get in shape. Running on the treadmill makes me feel like I am going nowhere but I was losing energy! In my life, I have been asking God to reveal to me the specific areas I am holding back from Him. It is wasted energy but lead me nowhere. If I'm honest, what I focus my mind and heart upon will consume my energy. Do I want to run as hard as I can after things in life that drain my love for my relationship with God, wife, family and friends?
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 about the eternal race!
24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
Paul writes earlier about giving up his rights for the gospel. Paul realized that life fulfillment is found in being faithful to God's call. Eternal focus helps us expend energy on what is most important. The world calls for us run after fame, pleasure, money, acceptance and pride. Paul encourages us to deny our selfish desires. We are to train daily to fill our mind, will and emotions with His promises. Eating healthy is crucial to establishing long-term vitality. The same is true in our mindset. What we focus upon will become the "nutrients" that fill our hearts.
A few questions to ask:
- What am I running after in my life? Is it eternal or temporal?
- Am I consumed with myself or or loving others?
- Am I thankful for the "small" blessings in life?