Running is Stupid
Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:29
I have an unfortunate habit of expressing my displeasure with any difficult workout at the gym by pronouncing that it’s stupid. I do the workout anyway, even though it’s at times miserable, because I have goals. I desire to see those goals realized more than I want to sleep in, so, I get up early and do the difficult things that get me there.
So it was last night, as my son and I ran in the cold wind and rain, that I couldn’t help but think, Running is stupid. We would have preferred to be sitting at home on the couch by the fire, but because we have long-term goals, we abandoned our immediate appetites and embraced the short-term discomfort.
This is the way it is with most worthwhile pursuits in life. Being in shape means forsaking our appetite for immediate gratification. Pursuing a rewarding career often means sacrifice, difficult education, and training. It’s similar with faith. If we call ourselves Christians and if we desire to live as disciples, Jesus asks that we continually abandon the easy, natural path, to follow his.
Our behavior will reveal where our desires truly lie. With physical fitness, we can call ourselves athletes and wear athletic clothing, but if we never leave the couch or exercise, we’re not going to get in shape. We can claim to value fitness, but our behavior will reveal what it is that we truly want.
Likewise, we can claim to be disciples, own a Bible, and go to church, but if we never get around to living the way Christ asks us to live, then our behavior will reveal that we only follow ourselves. Do we daily spend time working our relationship with God? Do we love those around us? Do we help the poor and needy?
I don’t really believe exercise is stupid. I just complain facetiously about it as I’m doing it. It would be worse for me though, if I claimed to love it and then never did it. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
If we say we want faith and recovery, but we never do anything to pursue those things, then we’re fooling ourselves. If our faith is truly important to us, our behavior will show it.