After months of training and running for over an hour on the big day, only one thought kept me going- at the finish line, they have snacks.
I completed my one and only half-marathon almost five years ago in Knoxville, and it certainly taught me how to stick it out, to keep going when you want to give up, and that the only thing that could get in my way was myself.
In my spiritual life, I’ve faced the same battle; the only thing standing in my way of a deeper relationship with God is myself.
As I’ve openly shared with you all, I have issues with control. I like controlling what I eat, how I look, what my house looks like, what my students’ test scores are, when things happen in my day…I love color-coding, alphabetizing, writing things in my planner, swiffering, and anything else that gives me a sense of control over my life.
And then life happens. And I can’t control it. And I have two choices: try and struggle and figure it out on my own or stick it out and trust in God. After twenty-seven years of this life thing, the latter is always the better choice.
With spiritual perseverance, discomfort, pain, and suffering sometimes are package deal. They are often apart of God’s plan, a plan that pushes us into a deeper life with God.
We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. -Romans 5:3-4
God can strengthen our spiritual perseverance through our physical perseverance, too. Come January 1, so many people are so eager to start making healthier choices in their lives- try a sugar detox, cut out sodas, go to the gym regularly, train for a 5K. We write goals on our bathroom mirrors, fervently buy things on Amazon to help us stay on track, and dive-head first into a something new, something better for our lives.
And then, that passion that was exploding out of you starts to flicker by January 9th, when real-life sets in. You go on a vacation or to a birthday party and ‘mess-up’ or 'cheat'. It’s all too easy to throw in the towel right then with the mentality, “Well, I’ve already had a cupcake today, so the rest of the day is all off. I'll just start back tomorrow."
Cut that out, my friends, cause it's not true.
Just like God constantly extends unlimited Grace to us as we constantly make mistakes, we need to extend ourselves some of that grace, too, when we slip in our health journeys.
God doesn’t expect us to be perfect; only through Christ are we made perfect. Why would you expect yourself to be perfect with your health and fitness goals, too?
Are there days when I walk into the gym after work and think, "Nope. Not today." ABSOLUTELY!
Are there days when I see donut holes in the break room and pop a blueberry cake one into my mouth because they're the best? ABSOLUTELY!
Do I beat my head against a wall because of it? Not anymore, though there was a point in my life when I totally did.
Just like when life gets a little rocky- you lose your job, your family is moving again, your parent receives some tough medical news- you can’t just give up.
The bad news is you can’t do it on your own. But the good news is that you can’t do it on your own. You’ve got to reach for help, strength, and stability from God.
In The Devout Life, Francis de Sales shows how important it us for us to stay with God amidst life’s storms. He writes
When little bees are caught in a storm they take hold of small stones so that they may keep their balance when they fly. Our firm resolution to stay with God is like stability to the soul amid the rolling waves of life.
Perseverance is a choice we must make in life. Whether you’re setting off to lose weight with Paleo or wanting to recommit more time to your daily life, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask God, ask your family, ask whoever you can see as a support system.
God is our Rock amidst life's storms. Grab hold of Him. He's got your back.
1. What is something in life that made you want to derail recently? What was your reaction to it?
2. Is there a goal for your spiritual or physical journey (or both you overachiever, you) that you want to recommit to?
3. Don’t forget to ask God to help. Feel free to use this prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. O Heavenly Father, I praise and thank You for all Your goodness and faithfulness throughout my life. You have granted me many blessings. Now let me accept tribulations from Your hand. You will not lay on me more than I can bear. You make all things work together for good. For Your children. Amen.
Have a magical Monday, y’all! I'll see your lovely faces tomorrow.
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!