“I just don’t feel like it.” – ever said that?

“I just don’t feel like it.” Those were my words tonight. Christi wanted to go run and I just wasn’t in the mood. Seriously, I didn’t want to run. She didn’t “force” me to, but you know how that is. If I didn’t run with her, I would feel like a jerk and she wasn’t going to tell me it was ok not to run. In fact it was the opposite, she kept prodding me…pushing me, I didn’t enjoy it.

So I ran, somewhere in the first mile she pulls one of those lines…”I read somewhere that you are going to hurt if you exercise, or you are going to hurt because you are out of shape because you don’t exercise, and you won’t like how you look…so might as well exercise!” Yeah, that was inspirational…
About a mile and a half in…I still didn’t want to be running…it hit me. This is how we are living our lives…our faith. Think about it. Someone “pushing” you to live out your faith by God’s Word…our reaction, avoid them. It’s tough taking up our cross daily, and somedays are harder than others. We look for excuses, a way out that makes us feel like we are pleasing God, but not having to walk the path. A loved one living a lifestyle of homosexuality…we look for an excuse to affirm them, because it is hard holding to our faith if it “hurts” someone we love. A friend fooling around outside of marriage, a leader giving themselves to greed, someone talking about an unborn child like they are a big toe instead of a person…the list can go on and on. On top of all of that, it takes work to live our own lives running next to Christ.
It is way easier to just say, “I’m sitting this one out God .You understand right…yes, I believe You do. I love you, see You on the next lap.” And away we skip, Lord I’ll meet up with you at the “plant a tree conviction” or the “boycott somebody because they are not using cage free birds to make their chicken whatever’s” all the cool kids are on those causes, much easier road.
I want to let you know, that if it wasn’t for the love of my wife “pushing me” I wouldn’t have run tonight or many other nights…where would it lead me? Eventually to misery. Church…and I am talking to all who claim Christ…we are called to run in tough environments in our faith. It may cost us some relationships with those who won’t run towards Christ with us. It may cause people to push us away or even to intentionally degrade us for our faith, but I am here to tell you…scripture points the way, God places poeople in our lives to push us closer to Him…especially when we are struggling. Don’t avoid them or write them off.
Don’t get distracted by what appears to be a more “enjoyable” route in the moment. That route ends in misery. My run wasn’t my most favorite run ever…by a long shot, but Christi was right (and I knew it when she said it) I am glad that I didn’t take myself off the path tonight.