by | Jul 27, 2023 | Vital Men Devotions

Yesterday, I drove up to meet some friends in Des Moines, stayed in a stranger’s house that is twice as big as mine, and jumped on our bikes to ride 50 miles in 95 degree weather with tens of thousands of strangers.  To some, this may sound fun, and to others this may be something that only idiots would do.  Most years, a friend from church is gracious enough to invite myself and others to ride along with his family for at least a couple days of RAGBRAI, which they have been doing for nearly 40 years.  I’ve been able to ride at least a day or two most years, since my first time 20 years ago, and the most difficult day for me is always the first day.  This year, I was sore and not feeling great the day before I was to ride, and honestly debated not even going, but was more interested to see if I was up for the challenge, as my thinking was that if I was able to do this in the past, I should be again, even if it is more difficult.  Well, I survived without any major injuries, but did have some struggles.  What challenges motivate you to do something you are not certain you are going to be able to accomplish?

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

Our eight year old thrives on challenges, whether to see if he can still beat his dad in a foot race, or who can brush their teeth first, to clean his room before his sister does, or most any other made up competition.  I realize that this will not always work till he is in adult, but it does help inspire to do what needs done when a simple request seems ineffective.  I work with a lot of children on finding ways to get them to move, and finding ways to motivate them to move, whether they are physically capable or not, is often the challenge.  I sometimes say ‘motivation is half of movement’, and it is.  When we are tasked with a difficult or big job at work or home, it may take some time, preparation, investigation, etc before we can get going on it, and sometimes these things can be excuses to not getting started or continuing to get the job done.  But it does feel good to complete a project, especially if it was challenging.  Is there anything you have been putting off because it feels too intimidating?  

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,  1 Peter 3:15

Are you ever challenged in your faith?  Maybe there is someone who is antagonistic toward your faith and you would like to talk with them, but you may feel inadequate to answer all their questions or challenges they may have.  Or you may have been asked to take on a role that you feel you are not suited or prepared for?  You may have considered reading a challenging book, but don’t want to take on another thing, or feel that you might have to change some of your practices as a result, and don’t really want that.  We may feel intimidated with David and Goliath style of major changes, but that’s not often what we are called to do.  We all can get comfortable or complacent in our faith or how much we are challenged to grow, and it is much easier for us to just say ‘no thanks’, but when we are challenged, we do often grow as a result.  Consider how you might best become more like Christ when the next challenge or opportunity presents itself.  I pray you are up for the challenge!

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10

Yours in Christ,


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