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Get After It!

I’ve always thought my husband was good looking, even when he was 57 pound heavier than he is right now.  I must admit, though, that he is a bit of a hottie at the moment, and I am relieved that he has lost the weight.  I was getting concerned that we might not grow old together, and I happen to believe that we would be the perfect older couple, taking ballroom dancing lessons, playing with our grandkids (though I’m pretty sure that Todd will be their favorite and I will be the one who makes sure they get fed), and watching TV in our matching recliners.  No.  Scratch that.  We’ll have a love seat.  Did I mention my hubby is a hottie? 

But, I digress…

My point is this.  Todd has worked very hard to get to this point, watching calories and denying himself things he would like to indulge in.  His was more than a journey of doing without, though.  He also made a serious effort to add something that had been lacking, exercise.  He bought himself some running shoes and got after it.

I remember when he couldn’t walk two miles with me without breathing hard, his face purple and damp with the effort.  Now, he is running two to three 5K’s a week, at least one of them up and down the hills of camp.  That is no small feat.  I walked it last night, and it took me almost an hour to return to my normal color!  He doesn’t run for the shiny 5K pins or the T-shirts he earns for running.  He does it for the health benefits and the euphoria that comes after a good run.  Those other things are just perks.

I am so proud of him I could cry, to be honest with you. 

Anyway, it’s 5K day, and Todd just ran by our apartment window.  I waved, but he didn’t see me.  We live at the bottom of a steep hill, and he was concentrating on the task at hand.  Tucking his chin, he picked his knees up a little higher, took a deep breath, and sped up.  

I smiled (he looks good when he runs) and went back to my quiet time, picking up where I left off, Proverbs 2:1-10.  Here is just a bit of it. 

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God…He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones…Wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” 

Now, honestly, don’t we all want those things?  Victory and protection, to know, and to understand?  I know I do. The thing is, they don’t come easy.  What God offers in this passage is a reward for hard work.  Look back at all of the action verbs in this passage: accept, store, turn, apply, call out, cry aloud, look, and search. 

Whew! 

I think there are a lot of people who would like to feel close to God, but get frustrated when they don’t feel something the first time that they pick up their Bible after a long hiatus or when they don’t get a charge out of sitting through an hour of church on Sunday.  Throwing their hands in the air, they give up, as if God has let them down. 

Are you kidding me? 

God did His part and then some in sending Jesus to make a way for us to have a relationship with Him in the first place.  The rest is up to us.  Getting to know God takes some work, but it’s worth the effort.  It starts with getting rid of everything gumming up the works, bad habits, poor attitudes, and plain old sin (God will help you with all of this if you’ll let Him) and ends with the ultimate surrender of your will to His purpose for your life.

Are you up for it?  It may seem like a daunting task at first.  Maybe you’ve never really studied the Bible on your own or you’ve gotten out of practice.  Maybe when you sit down to have a quiet time, you feel a little awkward and red-faced, embarrassed that it’s been so long. 

Don’t sweat it! 

God loves you.  He wants to spend time with you, and you’ll get the hang of it.  Start small.  Read a Psalm and a Proverb a day.  Then work your way through the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  When you’ve done that, jump over to Ephesians and Colossians, reading a chapter or two a day.  Before you know it, you’ll be flipping those see-through pages like a pro.  (If you would like to follow a quiet time guide, check out The Devotional to End all Devotionals, a free resource offered by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.)

Unlike my husband, I’ve never experienced a runner’s high, but I guarantee you it’s nothing compared to what waits for those who put in the time and make the effort to know God better.  Victory, protection, knowing, and understanding?  Sure, those are rewards worth working for, but nothing beats the intense joy of a healthy, intimate relationship with the Heavenly Father, who, by the way, thinks you are pretty worthwhile (Psalm 139, John 3:16)! 

What are you waiting for?  Go ahead.  Get after it! 

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