January 2, 2007 - New Running Duds


January 2, 2007
New running duds
By John Fischer

The new year always begins with a certain amount of optimism based on new resolutions and the desire to change. But right on the heels of those determinations is usually a pessimistic voice as well that taunts us: “What if we can’t? What if we don’t?” We’ve been here before and seen so little lasting change based on questions like this. Our intentions are great; our actions are weak. What do we do about this?

A couple of years ago, stirred on by the advice of my doctor to get more exercise, my children got me a running outfit and running shoes for Christmas. I told them that if they were going to do this, it had to be subtle. The last thing I wanted was to be out running the day after Christmas broadcasting to everyone what was under my tree. I didn’t want to make a big splash in the neighborhood for a few days only to never be seen again out there.

My kids did well. No bright colors. No racing stripes. But was it going to work? Would this new stuff help? Well, here’s what I thought: It sure can’t hurt.

I noticed that after I had gotten the stuff, I had a renewed desire to go out and run. It was not that I wanted to show off anything; it was just that I had the equipment now. Someone had made an investment in me; I didn’t want to disappoint them. I wanted to make good on this new equipment and use it for its intended purpose.

You don’t have to think very hard to find the spiritual implications in this. We always want to do better for the Lord, but we also worry about old habits, excuses, and denials that hold us back. We need to remember that we have received a new outfit. The Spirit has clothed us in righteousness and equipped us with spiritual gifts to do the work of the ministry with greater effectiveness. When you lay those clothes out on your bed and you look at that equipment, you can’t help but want to put that stuff on and get out there. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to start right off running the marathon; it just means you’re going to start.

Someone’s made a huge investment in you to provide you with this equipment. You don’t want to make light of that sacrifice or waste what it cost to outfit you spiritually.

It’s a new year! Put your new spiritual stuff on and start running! It doesn’t matter how far you go … just start.

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