The Sporadic Runner
Sporadic is defined as occurring at irregular intervals or only in a few places; scattered or isolated. Synonyms: occasional, infrequent, irregular, periodic,…
For the last 2 years I have been anything but disciplined with running. I can’t seem to get my act together. To be honest, most of the time, I just don’t even care. I mean I want to be healthy and active, but I struggle to have that drive and passion for running like I once did. I keep telling myself it’ll come back and here I am waiting. It’s as if I’m waiting for the day I get back on my treadmill and bust out a 15k, which at this point would be miraculous. I told you, I’m delusional. (This also is an example of how performance oriented I am. It’s a curse I tell you!) I’ve tried motivating myself by picking out races, which typically gets a few runs out of me but before I even commit to purchase a participant spot I’ve moved on. For months I have been a sporadic runner. I’ll get in a couple good ones and then 3 weeks go by and I’m back where I started. My treadmill is the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night and every time I walk by it, it beckons, “Come run on me. It’s been so long.”
This reminds me of places I have been in my walk with Christ. Have you been there? I definitely have! You know you want/need to maintain this relationship but the discipline is lacking and even producing a somewhat aloof, uncaring, attitude toward God and the importance of spiritual habits. You set your alarm for a morning quiet time and hit snooze, promising you’ll meet Him tomorrow. You pick out devotionals or start reading the latest Christian best seller only to read a few days and never finish it. I’ve even hoped for those moments when all of a sudden my passion for Jesus is ignited again and suddenly I crave His Word and presence every hour of the day. I’ve looked to church services to motivate me and expected a verse of the day here and there to train and mature me. Meanwhile, my Bible sits on a table beckoning me to feast on His Word, instead of sporadically snacking on it.
With running, we can’t expect a quick jog here and there to get us to the finish line of a race. And when it comes to being a follower of Christ, we can’t expect Sunday mornings, bits of God’s Word or the JoyFM to sustain us for the lifelong race He has marked out for us. Being a runner requires frequent, consistent training. Runners who are serious are devoted. Christian, we shouldn’t be any different. We should be devoted and willing to train hard. We have to get away from always needing to “feel like it.” Even when I was hard after running, I had moments where I didn’t feel like doing it. But, because I was devoted to training I did it anyway. Similarly we should pursue Christ obediently whether or not the feelings are there. This is the path to growth and maturity. He will be faithful.
Are you a sporadic Christian?
In Revelation chapter three messages are being sent to a few churches. To the church in Laodicea, “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!…..I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.”
I’m not a scholar but it sounds like these Christians were struggling in their devotion. They don’t use the word sporadic but they clearly didn’t know if they wanted to be loyal or disloyal to the Living God. They were apathetic and indifferent. He instructs them to be diligent, show care in their work. Diligence also means to be industrious, hard-working, and painstaking. He also instructs them to turn from their indifference, their lack of interest or concern.
Remember, the first parallel I wrote on was about evaluating our current condition honestly. Are you diligent in your relationship with Christ? Do you make time to read the scriptures? Do you desire to push through pain staking moments to grow and mature in your faith? Or are you sporadic, irregular, and indifferent? Do you have a lack of concern for your sin? One of the things God has really been pressing on me is being able to call my sin, sin. To confess it, turn from it and turn to fellowship with Him. And let me tell you, that process has been a bit painstaking. It’s not easy admitting you’re wrong. But for those that run, you know all about the pain, moving beyond the threshold, and experiencing freedom on the road. And as great as that is, it doesn’t even compare to experiencing freedom in Christ, which is what repentance brings! 1 John 1:6&7 “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice and blood that cleanses us!
If you are struggling to pursue relationship with Christ daily, don’t give up. Press on in obedience, expose yourself to the truth in His Word and pray that He would make Himself known to you.
Pray as the Psalmist did, “I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding. Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” Psalm 119:32-37
*Picking out my favorite songs has been hard! So many good ones. This ones my jam! I mean they all are… But this post it’s got to be Lecrae: Don’t Waste Your Life.*