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Treadmill Christianity...

I have never been a big fan of treadmills, although there have been seasons in my life where I forced myself to use one to increase my cardiovascular activity. One of the goals while using this exercise device was to lightly jog and not just walk in place. In high school, I was actually on the track team and improved my mile time from over six minutes to my best time ever of 5 minutes and 23 seconds. The only reason I was on the track team was to stay in shape for football. There were a couple of meets where I was the proverbial last-place finisher. Most elite athletes could run a mile in under five minutes, so I had not reached the status of most high school runners. Yes, I’m thankful that I can look back and know that I pushed myself to reach a goal that some will never reach, to run a mile under six minutes. The average, in-shape person runs a mile in under nine minutes, and of course, that number drops dramatically the more you run. Back to my treadmill experience; I would set the controls to accomplish a 10-minute mile, and found myself at the end of 1 mile quite winded. Over time, I was able to run a mile in about 7 1/2 minutes, 2 miles would’ve been impossible without stopping or slowing down. Did I feel good about myself? Yes. My heart was in better shape, and it was easy to go downstairs at my brother’s house and hop on his commercial treadmill. In reality, I was going nowhere. I was just running in place. We can all learn a valuable lesson from my treadmill experience, which correlates to our daily walk with Christ. Many of us know Christ and we are faithful every day in praying, reading the Scriptures, fellowshipping with other brothers and sisters in Christ, paying our tithe, attending church, all in all doing several very good and godly things. Listen to me carefully. I’m not asking you to stop any of that activity. What I’m asking you to do is to get off the Christian treadmill and go out and talk to people about your faith. I truly appreciate the amount of time you spend on living out your Christian faith. Keep going, stay regimented, journal, put reminders on your smartphone, block off every Sunday to be with other believers. These are all great! The time I spent on the treadmill getting into shape benefited me greatly, but it had no benefit for those around me. Obviously, I’m able to do things with my children and my wife: hiking, biking, outdoor activities, so yes, there is a level of benefit. Yet ask yourself, “how much of my Christian treadmill activity have I used to benefit others?” Listen to what the apostle Paul says. “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9: 25-27 Hope to see you soon chasing someone down to share the gospel!


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