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“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The year’s almost half gone. Of all my goals for 2015, the one I’ve shirked the most is my resolution to exercise regularly. I could try to justify my busy nature as a form of physical fitness. I’m always on the go. Moving things. Hefting others, little people included.
But in all honesty, what I’d initially intended came with recognizable titles in the world of fitness: lunges, jumping jacks, and–God help us all–burpees.
Then one day (quite early in the year), somebody moved the Xbox Kinect system I normally use for workouts. The change in location wrought a change in my goals.
exercise 3 to 4 days a week
The death of that resolution finally cried up from the ground where I buried it, enough so that I resolved, again, to make exercise a priority.
I also resolved to start slow. Too rusty for Zumba, and too irritable for Jillian, I popped in a workout DVD my sister sent. I made up my mind before the opening credits to do fifteen minutes. No more, maybe less, depending on how things were going.
At about twelve minutes, panting like a dog and grunting in a most unattractive fashion, I zeroed in on the clock. Three more minutes. I can quit in three more minutes. So focused on escape, I repeated the thought aloud.
“No, Mom. Push through the burn. Go to the end. You can do it.” This from my son, who sat at the table behind me doing homework.
Push through the burn? “Where’d you hear that? Your P.E. teacher?” I could barely find air to voice the question. Two minutes to go.
“No. That movie. The one where the guy is on the football field wearing a blindfold, carrying another player on his back, and the coach is next to him screaming for him to keep going even though it burned. Remember?”
Facing the Giants. I did remember. We had used that scene to encourage our kids not to limit themselves. So much for bailing out early.
My son took a lesson he’d learned and used it to encourage me in turn. Without that motivation, I most certainly would have called it at 14:59.
The desire to give up when things get hard is something we all face. Sadly, the act of following through with that desire has become more common, since many of us are too hesitant to risk offending one another to encourage otherwise.
Marriage. Education. Parenting. Dreams. Work. Faith. Fill in the blank. It all burns at one time or another.
Not only should we give it everything we’ve got, but we should also be brave enough to encourage one another to persevere, keep going, stick with it.
Save your marriage. Pray your kids through. Keep the faith. Finish what you started. Don’t quit. And don’t let those around you quit either.
Let it burn.
God will be with you. And the refined product He reveals on that Day will be worth every singe.