“There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.” – Kenneth Blanchard
As I sit here on a park bench in downtown St. Louis, the cold morning wind whipping around me, I’m nervous. A different nervous than I was this time last year. This will be my third half marathon, and the anxiety I have this morning is that I’m not ready for this race.
Last year, I trained for four months leading up to race day. I was prepared. Physically and mentally. I’ve not run in 6 weeks, and even that was the only real running I’d done in a month. My nerves are calm in that I know what’s ahead of me. The shock factor of that first race has worn off, and I know the task ahead. It’s not an easy one, and as I sit here worried that I may not finish I can’t help but regret all those missed opportunities. All the times I could have trained. Should have trained.
It’s kind of like our walk with God really. I had a conversation with a good friend last week…a Godly man who I respect very much. I was sharing with him some of where I’ve been emotionally in the months following the call. I’ve not felt like reading the Bible. Not been committed to studying God’s Word. This friend shared with me that while what I’m feeling is not uncommon, sometimes we have to read the Bible, not because we want to, but because we know we need to. Some days, it takes resolve and commitment to pick up the Word and read. And while our reading time will not be as fruitful as it is when we want to read it, it still impresses the Scripture upon our minds. It can still be fruitful.
I think of all the missed opportunities in the development of my faith. All the situations I could have been a blessing to someone else and wasn’t. Missed opportunities to be a light for Christ. Missed opportunities in my career, my family, my finances, my life in general. Missed because I failed to prepare.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10.
If the Creator of the universe took time to prepare, shouldn’t we do likewise? In fact, God calls us to prepare. To be on guard. To stand at the ready.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” – 1 Peter 3:15
I’m not prepared for this race, and I’m not prepared for all that God has planned for me in my walk with Him. I’ve missed opportunities. I’ve not taken full advantage of all that God has given me. I’ve made choices that reflect an interest instead of a commitment. I’m thankful He allows us to start fresh and renew our commitment.
Lord, may you find favor on your servant. May I find the commitment and resolve deep within to know and follow hard after you. Strengthen me so that I am no longer conveniently committed.