Saturday, March 26, 2011

Part 3 - Tell yourself the truth

"Truth? You can't handle the truth!" Almost everyone knows this line from the 1992 movie A Few Good Men. In fact, Jack Nicholson's reading of this line has been voted the 29th greatest American movie quote of all time. Almost everyone also knows that the truth can sting a little.

I was doing a little speed work at the local track, trying to break through the barriers that were somehow keeping me from making a "come-back" to running and I stopped to talk to my running coach. We were discussing the trouble I'd had making it "click" again. I knew what I was fighting wasn't as much a physical battle, as a mental one. In my head, I had my excuses, but as I stood there and heard her say one simple sentence, I knew I was hearing the truth.

Here's basically what she said. "When you first started running, it was all so new and exciting; but now you know how much work it's going to take and you're just not sure you're willing to do it." See - I told you the truth could sting.

I still remember standing in my living room over 4 years ago and being absolutely amazed that I had stuck to this "running thing" for so long. I have just never been the type to stick with anything for very long - yet this was something I had stayed consistent with for over a year! Every race was so exciting. Every new ache was a badge of achievement. Every mile meant a new victory.

Then life happened. I took a couple weeks off, followed by a couple more, followed by a couple of years off. The next thing I knew, I couldn't run a mile without hurting! I sort of tried to get back into the groove, but it just wasn't the same. I had my excuses, but what I really needed to hear was the truth.

My coach was right. I knew what it would take to really get back into running and I just wasn't sure yet that I was willing to make the commitment.

How much that mirrors my spiritual walk (or maybe I should say run) as well. When I first committed my life to God, everything was so new. I couldn't wait to get to church, to read more of the Bible, to volunteer to work, to - well, you name it! Then, over time, that seemed to fade. Maybe I just got busy, but before I knew it my passion just wasn't there. I shudder to say it, but I'm afraid maybe I was becoming luke-warm!

I would try to do the things I'd once done, but it just wasn't the same. I didn't "jump" at the chance to be involved anymore because I knew just how hard it would be. I didn't say "yes" quite as readily to the prompting of the Holy Spirit because I knew what followed wouldn't be easy. It would be tempting to blame it on the music or the preaching or any number of things, but I think I knew what needed changing.  I knew now what it would take, and I just wasn't sure I was ready to make that commitment.

So, why then, am I still out there running. Because deep inside there is a little voice that whispers, "Remember." Remember how good you felt when you ran consistently? Remember how good it felt to know you had given it my all? Remember how good it felt to make progress, no matter how small? Remember? Yes, it is hard - but it is worth it.

A voice much more powerful and consistent pulls at my heart and says, "Remember" as well. Remember how it felt to be willing to go wherever God said go, to do whatever He said do, and to live a life of faith that required  living beyond yourself? Remember? Oh yes, I remember.

I'm not a new Christian....but there's no need to be an "Old" one either. It's time to settle this "argument" that rages inside me once and for all. No, it won't be easy - but it is worth every ounce of sacrifice. I want to not only learn how to run again - I want to re-learn what it means to run with God! I want to run to His altar and say, "I am completely Yours!" I may not know where this road leads, but no matter how difficult, the journey is worth it.

And that's the truth.

Revelation 2:4 (Amplified Bible)

But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love].

Revelation 3:15-17 (New International Version, ©2011)

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

I found an interesting article with ways to know if you might have left your first love. Check it out by clicking on the link: Revive our hearts

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