by Pastor Tim Burt
From 1977 until about 1993, I had been running 12 mile runs frequently and had a regular early morning routine of 3-5 mile runs with a Pastor friend of mine.We both loved to run and pray together so we got up very early about four times a week. Those were precious days.
Then one day another Pastor friend of ours approached us and said, Hey, I’ve decided I am going to train for and run a marathon. Why don’t you guys join me? You both like to run. I asked him, How far is a marathon? He told me, 26.2 miles. I thought he was crazy, but then couldn’t stop thinking about it. Hmm! I began to pray about it and talk it over with Renee. There didn’t seem to be any obstacles other than managing the time to run which I already was with my current running routine, so I agreed as did my friend. But neither of us knew what we were agreeing to. Almost nothing has stretched my disciplines, my character, and my commitment level as this did. We ran the marathon that Fall and then four more over the next four years. It changed my life forever in the most positive way.
I knew it would help me get in the best shape of my life—not a bad thing to do at the age of 40. I already enjoyed running but this would give me even more time to pray.
I am now 62 years old. I had found myself thinking a great deal about training for a marathon again. To be honest, I’m wasn't sure if it was a good idea. The physical and time commitment of training would be high and I’d have to train for the next 9 months to do it. The time commitment is intense and there are a many other ways I could use that time. I wasn't sure if this was what the Lord wanted. What I was sure of, was this had been rolling around in me for a while and I had started to pay greater attention to the thought of doing it.
One night I said to Renee, would you like to go on an early morning walk tomorrow? She said sure. We loved it and did it again. And then again. I realized that God used the thoughts of a marathon to spur me forward, only it was for walking with Renee—not a marathon. We both came to the conclusion that it was God that led us into this new adventure. BUT, winter weather was coming up. Could we commit to this regardless of the weather or would this soon fizzle as we flip-flopped on bad weather days. We were both positive that the Lord orchestrated it and felt we needed to set the commitment. We both went out and bought the foul-weather gear we needed so that we would go out regardless of the changing weather—rain, sunshine or snow.
Commitment is what makes all the difference. It’s where you stop flip-flopping and make the decision God is stirring you to. Commitment moves you forward. Wavering is a curse. It leaves you in the land of indecision. Too many God-given desires are pondered to death! Indecision keeps your life from moving forward. It often steals from any kind of destiny that might otherwise come through commitment. When people wonder about but never commit their life to Jesus, they are tossed through life as described in Ephesians 4:14 TLB “…forever changing their minds about what they believe because someone has told them something different…”
When people don’t make commitments about things they know they need to do, they waver, are tossed around in indecision, and flounder. James 1:5-8 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."
What is God asking you to commit to? Going to church? Giving your life back to Him? Reading your Bible? Being a better spouse or parent. Whatever it is, make the commitment and move forward in the grace of God. He will help you. You will discover that commitment produces marvelous blessings in your life. You will never regret it!
Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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