Put Your Shoes On

 According to Google the top New Year resolutions are…
- Weight loss and improving health,
- Getting your finances in order,
- Getting organized,
- Kicking a habit,
- Maximizing productivity,
- Minimizing waste, and
- Practicing more self-care.

Now I’m not really into making resolutions but I have in the past. One of them had to do w/ putting my shoes on. Gotcha scratchin’ your head wondering where I’m going w/ this? Well it all stems from high school.

I loved to play sports in HS. I had tons of heart and desire but not much more than that. There is a scene out of the movie Rudy that I can relate to where Rudy is talking to the head grounds-keeper at Notre Dame Stadium. Rudy spent two years as a walk-on and on the last day of practice before the very last game, he informs the grounds-keeper, a man who took a-liking to Rudy, that he was going to quit. The grounds-keeper tells Rudy that, “You’re 5 foot nothin’, 100 and nothin’, and you have barely a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in there with the best college football players in the land for two years. You're gonna walk outta here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this life, you don't have to prove nothin' to nobody but yourself. Am I making myself clear?”

Now my little high school (Karns City H.S., Go Gremlins!) certainly wasn’t Notre Dame but I too was small during my years there and not much football athletic ability to offer. But I hung in there.

Fast-forward 14 years and I’m now 32 and starting my fifth assignment w/ the Air Force. For whatever reason, maybe just to prove something to myself more than anything else, I decided I was going to train and run the Duke City Marathon in Albuquerque NM. I had never attempted something as physically daunting as that before in my life but I was bound and determined to do it; kinda like a New Year’s Resolution except it wasn’t. But the hardest part of training wasn’t all the many miles of pounding the pavement, as demanding as that was, the hardest part was putting my shoes on every morning at 0500 and knocking out 6-8 mile runs before getting back home by 0600, getting cleaned up and heading to work. In my mind’s eye, once the shoes were on there was no turning back. I was out the door!

So as we enter this New Year, do you have a resolution to make in regards to your spiritual life?
A Pastor once challenged me with these words. “There are two primary disciplines (habits or practices) for growth in the Christian life: studying the Bible and prayer. These are the bread and butter, the meat and potatoes of Christian growth. Sure, there are lots of other things we can do to grow in Christ, but they all flow out of these two. Therefore, we Christians are called to prioritize Bible study and prayer so that we might be transformed more into the image of Christ.”

Taking this a step further, I would encourage you to do the following if you might find it to be beneficial.
1) As you read the Bible, take notes. That helped me to not read for reading's sake but to read for comprehension, i.e., what nugget might be buried in any given passage.
2) Also, find someone that might be a prayer warrior w/ you and/or a Bible-reading partner. You don’t necessarily need to be physically present during these sessions but certainly touch base on a regular basis to be not only a source of encouragement but also be accountable to each other.

Might this be the year that you put your “spiritual” shoes on and grow deeper in your faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ!  And in doing so you’ll be able to fulfill this command from

1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
1 Peter 2:2-3 “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

Happy New Year!