So, I’ve been trying to turn my wife into a runner. For four years. And it’s still not working! Sometimes I feel I’m getting close, then she slowly gets out of the habit. She likes going to the gym, she likes spending the extra time with family (we try to make workouts a family activity as much as possible), she’s naturally athletic, and she really likes to purchase clothes and shoes for running (especially if they are pink and/or purple). Lately she’s been open about the problem: she has ZERO desire to feel exhausted. She’s fine doing a short jog with the kids, or a leisurely run, but she has NO desire to get to the point exhaustion. Now, before you judge me for being a demanding and pushy husband, let me assure you that I always back off. She certainly never has to be a runner for me to love her. She has MANY other things that are amazing and wonderful around her, and running does not need to be one.
What has struck me is that her desire to avoid exhaustion in running is similar to the desire of many of us to avoid fulling serving God. I’ll wager a guess that most of you routinely exhaust yourselves in your work, in your hobbies, and in your family life. You’ve put in the 60-hour work weeks while still getting to two football games, six t-ball games, four ballet classes, two piano recitals, and ensuring everyone in the family actually ate (even if “eating” often meaning McDonald’s or Ramen!). But, what about pushing yourself to the limit for God? What about giving your best for Him, leaving it all on the field for His glory? Many of us are willing to do some things for God in life: we’ll teach Sunday school, do a service project, and fill a shoebox for needy kids, but what about when serving becomes difficult? What about when it forces us to sacrifice our time, our energy, and our finances in a big way? Now, should we be exhausting ourselves on a daily basis? No! We all need a balance in our lives. But, we need to be willing and ready to serve God sacrificially for the glory of His Kingdom. Are you willing to be exhausted for God, to sometimes make sacrifices in your life so that God can use you to make an impact?
Let’s close today with these words from the Apostle Paul: let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2