Over the past 10 years I have made many attempts to ‘get back in shape.’  Sometimes I’d lose motivation, (okay, often) and then the times that I did have the motivation, just as I started getting into a routine, I’d get sick, or get shin splints.  By the time I recovered, I had given up.  Then we’d start all over again at some point in the future.

In determining to ‘get in shape’ one more time, I’ve been checking out various fitness blogs and websites.  The best advice I have seen on starting to run isn’t the – ‘run 1 minute, walk 4 minutes’ (which always left me with shin splints), but rather, ‘run until you are tired, walk until you are bored.’  BRILLIANT.  I can do that.

Part of my problem, which always led to the shin-splints, or my body shutting down, and getting sick, is trying to push myself too hard to fast.  I used to be in tip-top shape, so the thought of walking almost feels like an insult.  My arrogance tells me that I’m not a walker, I’m a runner, so lets just get on it.  But sometimes, you just have to walk.

I just got back from a run/walk (and it felt great).  I didn’t time myself, I didn’t coordinate how much I’d run, then how much I’d walk.  No stop watch was invited.  I simply ran until I got tired, and walked until I got bored, but most importantly, I kept moving forward.  I’ve come to realize that I don’t always need to be in a full sprint, but I do need to be moving forward.

The same is true in my spiritual life.  When I repented and trusted Christ over 7 years ago, I was in a full out sprint.  I couldn’t devour the Scriptures fast enough.  There weren’t enough hours in the day to read.  I was learning so much.  About a year in, I was at a very steady, but fast stride.  I continued to read tons, and listen to sermons during just about every available moment.  Then…I had kids…

I began to stumble.  My consistency fell.  I grew frustrated with not being able to read as much as I used to.  Not having an hour or more to sit with my Bible, and a commentary, and a concordance, and really do in-depth studying.  In my frustration, I stopped, for a while.  I checked out intellectually.  It might have been a week without reading my Bible, maybe even longer at times.  I knew I should, but I couldn’t run as fast as I wanted, so I decided not to run at all.  Then when I would pick up my Bible again, I wouldn’t feel connected to God (I wonder why?), so I’d avoid the Bible again.

I have come to understand that there are seasons of life, and that’s okay, as long as we keep moving forward.  Sometimes all we can do is walk, or even crawl, but we must keep moving forward.

Sprinting has its benefits, but so does walking.

I find the same temptations today, with teaching my kids.  I did not grow up in a Christian home, and I want for them the teaching and training in godliness that I did not receive.  I want them to memorize passages, know catechisms, and be able to recite the names of the apostles and of Jacobs’ sons.  All good goals, but maybe I need to be content with a slightly slower pace.  Maybe it’s okay if they are 5 years old before they can recite the entire book of Romans.

So, I am giving myself permission top walk…in life and in faith.