I hate running.
I have said so in this blog before.
And yet, I continue to run at least four times a week. Mind you, I am neither sprinting nor doing any sort of distance running. I do interval training, and if I could drop it and still see results in toning and shaping my body, I would. But unless I do something which burns fat, my goal of becoming healthier and avoiding knee surgery in the future will not become achievable.
So I run, and I hate it.
Most of the time.
But there are moments, brief moments when something intriguing happens.
My body does not feel like it is exerting anything. My feet seem to glide over the pavement. My breathing seems effortless. It's a really nice feeling. But then I come crashing back to reality. It doesn't last for any length of time. But it's there. It's happened more than once. It's real.
I've had such moments in my faith life as well.
When I reflect upon the words of Jesus--His ethical and moral commands, sometimes I cannot help but wonder if giving it all up would be easier:
If anyone begs from you...give.
If you are angry with someone, you've committed murder.
If you've looked at another with lust in your heart, you've committed adultery.
Take the log out of your own eye before you judge another.
It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God.
Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Feed the hungry.
Give drink to the thirsty.
Clothe the naked.
Visit the sick and imprisoned.
Heck, that's just the basics. There's more. A lot more, and it simply isn't easy to follow. It's difficult. Far easier to fail than to succeed. So, why even try? Why even continue to strive for perfection when perfection is unachievable?
There are moments. Holy moments. Moments when I know God is real. Moments when I know His presence and hear His voice. Yes, they have happened in my life. Some may call me crazy; irrational, I know. But I am not alone in sensing God and hearing His voice. There are others, and their sense is very much the same as mine.
When those times of questioning occur...
When those times of doubt occur...
I remember the One who suffered and died, for He is the one who has spoken to me and given me His presence at critical moments in my life. He sets the bar high for me (and all who follow Him) knowing we cannot fully reach it; however, if He set it any lower, we might actually achieve it and become self-righteous.
And as we reach for that goal, responding to what He has done first to us, our spiritual muscles are honed and shaped. He is ever working and molding us from within--a lifetime process of making us more and more like Him.
It's tough. Sometimes, it hurts and brutally. It would be easier to quit.
But, there are moments...