John and I were jogging down the path this morning right into a gusty spring wind. The sunshine was marvelous and being able to jog without having to wear a jacket or hoodie also made me smile. For a while last year we were jogging about four times a week in the early morning before work. We built up a pretty good endurance. Then this winter we went pretty regularly to the exercise room at our apartment complex and ran on treadmills to keep up. My enthusiasm started to wane there. Running on a treadmill is so boring, even when I was listening to good tunes on my iPod.
Well, I’ve been a lazy butt the last few weeks. I fought off a lingering cold for a few weeks and felt puny, then having stayed up late quite a bit didn’t want to get up early this week, telling myself “I need my sleep. I can work out later.” Well sometimes “later” never happens.
Today as we started out I felt tired much quicker and panted more than usual. We had to take frequent walk breaks. I was so frustrated! I didn’t think I’d lose so much endurance in such a short time of not jogging. It took months to build up our endurance and only weeks to lose a lot of it! Good grief. I asked John, “Do you think that’s kind of like our spiritual growth, too? It takes a long time and effort to grow but can take very little time to go backwards and lose endurance?”
I really don’t enjoy running, in and of itself, but I like how I feel afterward and I like how it burns a lot of calories in a shorter period of time. I could walk – and I may start doing that more. It just takes more time.
Do you notice after a short time of not spending time with God or not reading His Word or not hanging out in worship with other believers at church that you slide back, feel like you’re losing momentum spiritually? I may not always like the discipline it takes to grow, or like growing through change and difficulty but the constant effort seems to be really important. Otherwise I find myself taking two steps forward and a step back. What do you think?