I started actively running in early January of this year. Part of the reason I started was because I didn’t like the way I looked. I thought I had gained a lot of weight, and I was afraid that if I didn’t do something about it then I would continue to gain weight. I didn’t realize how much damage I had done to my body—I had eaten so many unhealthy foods– quarter-pound hotdogs, chocolates, cookies, ice cream, fried chicken, hamburgers, etc. I thought that since I had been running consistently for a couple of months (and I had stopped eating fatty foods) that I would have a flat stomach by now, but after years of gluttony I can’t expect to shed fat “overnight.”
Then I thought about how Christians are supposed to be like Jesus, but that process can take a long time. For many years, I barely read my Bible, and I did not have a desire to go to Sunday school—I only went to Sunday morning worship. Although I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 19-years-old, it’s only been since October of last year that I’ve been reading my Bible and praying consistently. Progress takes time—sometimes a lot of time. We need to be patient with ourselves— we will fail and “mess up,” but we need to forgive ourselves; then we need to focus on the next day rather than looking back.
I may want a flat stomach now, but I have to be consistent with my workouts and not expect immediate results. In the same way, I have to keep pressing forward in my Christian walk—I can’t expect to be like Jesus unless I keep reading and studying His Word, and I have to keep in mind that change will be slow. I can’t get discouraged because things are not changing as fast as I would like—I just have to keep focused on the end goal. Hebrews 12:1-2 has the following, “…let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…” (NLT).