I was watching the TV show "The Biggest Looser" last night. We don't have cable TV or any such like, so we watch this show a week after it actually aired on National television on the internet. Anyway, the contenders on this show have fought some great battles over a three month period to lose an amazing amount of weight. As most of you know, they began this journey near death due to their obesity, and they go through a rigorous workout routine and strict diet to help shed pounds, normally in the double digits, each end every week. These amazing people work their rears off literally.
It is wonderful to watch how these men and women struggle so much in the early stages of this program. They find themselves wanting to quit so many times, but somewhere in the mist of all of the pain and mental torment, they discover a determination that they never knew existed inside of them, thus discovering an almost supernatural strength that enables them to go far and beyond what their bodies says it can handle. It is a very inspiring show to watch, and of course, as always, I seem to find spiritual significance in watching their experiences.
Last night’s episode took us on a journey with the last four contestants that have made it all the way to the end. They were sent home for sixty days to try and take all that they have learned over the last three months and use that knowledge in the same environment that help create their obesity to begin with. And to top it all off, when this time was exhausted, they were informed that they were going to run a 26.2 mile marathon. A 26.2 MILE MARATHONE!!!!! Think about this ladies and gentlemen… just three months before this day, these people struggled to walk from the couch to the refrigerator to get another unhealthy dose of carnage to fill their bodies with, not less run a 26.2 mile marathon.
Okey…now my thought for the day. When the men and women began this marathon, they began with great enthusiasm, smiles on their faces, and determination in their hearts; however, as more and more miles were behind them, those positives turned into negatives. Doubts begin to set in. There was talk of not being able to finish. They began to suffer from an overbearing amount of pain. I was sure that a couple of them would quit, when all of a sudden, help came running to them. It was a friend or a family member. It was someone who was in those same shoes the year before. They were there to give encouragement. These friends began to run with them. Every step of the way they would say things such as, you can do this, we are almost there, you can’t give up, and I am beside you all the way…things such as that. It was so awesome, these people’s presence somehow reminded them of that supernatural strength they discovered over the last few months, and they began to find strength in those legs again. They pushed and pushed, ran and ran until everyone of them crossed that finish line. It was beautiful.
Our walk with God always seems to start out with determination, zeal, and enthusiasm. We feel like we can take on the whole world for Christ. That is until the pain of that journey begins to settle in. Somehow we find ourselves growing weaker and weaker and we don’t feel we can continue on. Our positives turn to negatives…”I can’t do this”…”I can’t make it”…”this journey it to hard and long”…”the pain is unbearable”; however, this is when God sends in reinforcements, in the form of the body of Christ. A brother or sister steps out and begins to run with you, and reminds you of what you have learned already. “you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength”…I have been in your shoes, and I made it, and so will you. “you will not run this race alone I am right here with you”. Then, before you know it, there it is; it’s the finish line. On the other side of that finish line are the people who love you most, with their arms open wide to embrace you and say WELL DONE.
You see…this journey is not an easy one, nor is it supposed to be. If you are going to truly run this race that God has so lovingly invited you to run, it will not be without the pain of the cross that you must bear; however, if the body of Christ is truly present in your life, you will not have to run alone. If I am a true brother I will be right there, not running ahead or behind you, but right next to you reassuring you that you will make it, and it will be worth it all when you cross that finish line and hear THE ONE who loves you most say “well done my good and faithful servant”. We do not want to hear Him say “you did run well…what did hinder you?”
I leave you with some words from my brother Paul who said in Heb 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”.
Still thinking…I love you all.