Why do I tend towards doing everything else first, or spend more time doing everything and anything else, rather than ask to enter into the presence of the Almighty?
I thought about this on my run today. Getting myself out the door today was difficult enough, and then I let myself relax into an easy run. I didn't push myself at all, and I still felt content with that. The reality is that if I continue to run this way, I will never advance. I won't gain stamina, nor will I run those 8:30 minute miles that I do so want to attain.
As I sauntered back to my block, I realized that this same lackadaisical attitude is the one I often have towards my walk with the Lord.
I am not happy to admit this.
I don't want to admit it. But I think it must be true.
When I am running, I think about everything I have personally accomplished-- I have a "look-where-I-am-now" attitude. I just ran a 10 mile race with 30,000 other people in 10 minute miles. Two years ago, I had to stop three times during my first 5K, and now I can run six miles without stopping once. Five years ago, I nearly passed out on the treadmill after running 1.75 miles at a jogging pace. With all I have accomplished,
why the need to push myself when it's so darned difficult in the moment?
When I think about spending time with God... Do I really think in a "look-what-I've-accomplished" way?? How awful-- to think that where I am today is at all attributed to my own efforts. The grace that has been shown to me--that has led me to where I am today, with the husband and friends and church and job surrounding me--is just that: GRACE. It is not my own efforts. It is the grace of the Lord.
But I do think about where I have come from-- "at least I'm not doing X, Y and Z"-- and I don't push myself. And I think I know what a true encounter with the Spirit entails-- true change. As a creature imbedded in my old behaviors and habits, I say I want to change, I tell the Lord I want to change, but I don't. At least, not if it's painful. And dying to self, friends, is always painful.
Yet there is hope, because dying to self means life in Christ.
And life in Christ is more fuller than we can imagine.
The life he gives is more true to who he made us to be.
It's worth it to push ourselves through the difficult moments, to run that last mile as if it is the last mile we will ever run.