As a runner, this goal looms ever before me: to run faster–to improve my time, to be quicker on my feet.
In my spiritual life, I have a “be quicker” goal for this new year.
I thought about where I’d like to be quicker. The following list came to mind. I want to be:
-quicker to say, “I was wrong,” to people and to the Lord. This one reminds me of what my Bible study teacher often told us: “Don’t be wrong long.”
-quicker to say, “I’m sorry.”
-quicker to forgive. This verse comes to mind: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 NIV
-quicker to listen. With this one, I think of James 1:19 where the Lord urges me to “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” (NIV) The conclusion I come to is that if I determine to be quicker to listen, I will be slower to speak and slower to become angry. Oh, how I need that.
Here’s more of my list. I want to be:
-quicker to end an argument.
-quicker to act when God’s still, small voice gives me an instruction.
-quicker to pray. This will help me with anxiety and worry, which I battle on a regular basis. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 KJV
-quicker to give a compliment, an encouragement, a hug.
-quicker to worship the Lord and bring Him glory.
-quicker to tell people about Jesus and to give the reason for the hope that is within me. (See 1 Peter 3:15)
Right now as a runner, I’m slow. Not too long ago, I could run for forty minutes to an hour without much effort and at a moderate speed. But then I got away from it. Now that I’m trying to get back, I run as if through mud. I hurt when I run, and I can last only ten minutes at a time.
The same can happen in my spiritual life when I get away from the spiritual, supernatural response to the challenges in life and just do what comes naturally—when I stop exercising my faith. Spiritual responses become harder, and I’m slower to achieve them.
So as I become quicker again as a runner, I’m determined with God’s help to become quicker as a Christian.
I’m certain more “quicker” goals will come to mind in the days ahead, and I pray for grace to embrace each of those and every item on the list above.
Lord, help me to move closer to becoming all You’ve called me to be in 2017 and in the years ahead.
“Lord, I Give You My Heart” (This Is My Desire) by Hillsong