As I was running last week, a thought occurred to me: I am improving exponentially. I believe there is a good reason for this. I am running (and riding my bike one day a week) which is building my muscle and making me stronger. But I'm also losing weight in the process. And the more weight I lose is the less weight I need to carry with me as I run.
This fit with another thought I had recently: The hardest thing to do is to get going. But once you get going, it's a lot easier to keep going. It's like a ball rolling down a hill. It starts off slow but it gets going and starts flying. I really do believe that most people just need to find that motivation to get started. And something I think that will help is by remembering that you can't tackle it all at once. You're not going to lose weight and get in shape in one day. It will take time. But you have to start that time at some point. My mentality is that you should just aim to do better than before in the beginning. You don't have to hit the ideal right away. Get the ball rolling.
After I had the initial thought last week, another thought came to me: This is not much different than another aspect of our lives. How often are we carrying heavy burdens with us? How often are we trudging through feeling defeated and overwhelmed? We need to start getting rid of some of that baggage, because once we get going it will become easier. The less weight we're carrying with us the more confidence we have that we'll get rid of the rest. This is true of our physical bodies, but also mentally and spiritually, I believe.
The words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 ring so loudly as I think of this:
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (ESV)I don't know what you're carrying with you right now. But I do know who can help you: Jesus. As I read in my devotions on Wednesday, Psalm 30:11-12 says,
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever! (ESV)So it's time to get out there and start shedding some weight, both physically and metaphorically. I want to leave you with some encouragement.
Physical Weight Loss Encouragement
Get out there and get started. Start small. Take a walk around the block. Want to run? Start with some walking breaks in the middle. "Oh, but that's not good enough. I should be able to run the whole thing." Listen, you will with time. But you need to start somewhere.
Metaphorical Weight Loss Encouragement
Spend some time in prayer and reading the Bible. Ask God to take your burdens. He can give you rest that you will never achieve on your own. Not ready for the certain things yet? Start with something you are ready for. Trust Him. He will never let you down.
Here are 2 more verses:
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. (NIV)1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (ESV)