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New Running Duds
Photo: Perttu Lämsä
The New Year always begins with a certain amount of optimism based on new resolutions and the desire to change. But right on the heel of those determinations is usually a pessimistic voice as well that taunts us:  “What if we can’t? What if we don’t?” We’ve been here before and seen so little lasting change based on questions like this. Our intentions are great; our actions are weak. What to we do about this?

This year, stirred on by the advice of my doctor to get more exercise, my children got me a running outfit and running shoes for Christmas. I told them that if they were going to do this, it had to be subtle. The last thing I wanted was to be out running the day after Christmas broadcasting to everyone what was under my tree this year. I didn’t want to make a big splash in the neighborhood for a few days only to never be seen again out there.

Make Good on New Equipment

My kids did well. No bright colors. No racing stripes. But is it going to work? Will this new stuff help? Well, here’s what I think right now: it sure can’t hurt. I have noticed that since I’ve got this stuff, I have a renewed desire to go out and run. It’s not that I want to show off anything; it’s just that I have the equipment now. Someone’s made an investment in me; I don’t want to disappoint them. I want to make good on this new equipment and use it for its intended purpose.

You don’t have to think very hard to find the spiritual implications in this. We always want to do better for the Lord, but we also worry about old habits, excuses and denials that hold us back. We need to remember that we have received a new outfit. The Spirit has clothed us in righteousness and equipped us with spiritual gifts to do the work of the ministry with greater effectiveness. When you lay those clothes out on your bed and you look at that equipment, you can’t help but want to put that stuff on and get out there. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to start right off running the marathon; it just means you’re going to start.

Someone’s made a huge investment in you to provide you with this equipment. You don’t want to make light of that sacrifice or waste what it cost to outfit you spiritually.

It’s a New Year! Put your new spiritual stuff on and start running! It doesn’t matter how far you go—just start.

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By John Fischer. Reprinted with permission from the Canadian Adventist Messenger, January 2007. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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