Despite knowing how you fellowship best with God...despite knowing that you need to commune with him continually and regularly...despite knowing that a relationship with God that is stagnant is no relationship at all...despite knowing that you must take time to meet with God......
...some days you simply won't feel like it.
Maybe you are tired or busy. Maybe you have a list of "to-dos" or just a list of "things that sound more fun"...life is full of excuses. Sometimes there isn't a particular excuse du jour. Instead, it is just a lack of resolve and desire to meet with God that pulls you in another direction. Instead of a devotional time you turn on a sitcom. Instead of listening to worshipful music you turn on the country station with the latest hits. The act of avoiding God can be small and minor but can have a great and lasting impact.
On these days when communing with God isn't the burning desire of your heart, do it anyway. Set aside the time to meet with God. Be intentional.
Your act of communion cannot be solely based on your emotional readiness. If we wait for our own hearts to stir and bring us to the table we might never get there. Coming to meet with God must be an act of obedience. That is the only hope we have of making it a part of our habitual lifestyle, and not just a come and go occurrence that occasionally makes its way into our daily routine.
This morning I suffered from this spiritual stagnation. I didn't feel like coming to my own personal table. I knew the table was a run and, normally, I am excited for the exercise and the prayer time with God. But this morning I didn't feel like starting out. I felt like my body was too weak to carry me. I was afraid that it would be uncomfortable...sweaty...winded...
I cut my ankle a few days back and my sneakers were rubbing the cut, making it bloody and painful. My mind was full of excuses as to why I could easily skip this morning's run. My mind even came up with a new excuse: you weigh so little, just don't do it.
This excuse bothered me more than any other. Sure, my weight is extremely low and many people would advise against me running at all. But God has built me for action. He has made me strong and he empowers me to move forward. On my own steam and stamina I couldn't run. But I am not working off of my body's limited resources. With each stride I am further drawing on the outpouring of endurance that is in limitless supply when it is given by God.
I decided to go forth with the run, exactly as I had planned. I ran for a little over 2 miles. I was shooting for 2 miles in 20 minutes and I came mighty close to my goal. By the end of the week I hope to build my speed to be able to make it in that time. During the run I didn't feel overly connected to God. The run was painful, especially at the end. My ankle was bloody and achy. But I kept going.
I know there will be days when running will not be fun but it will be necessary if I want to stick with my plan and continue with the lifestyle I am striving for. Same goes with my relationship with God. There are days I just don't want to take the time to talk to him, commune with him and share in intimacy with him. Some days it will be mind over matter, a matter of will power just to run with him. But in the end it is worth it.
After my run I felt immensely blessed. I knew in my heart of hearts that running with God that morning was what I needed even thought it wasn't necessarily what I wanted. In the end it is always best to do the right things, not always the easy thing and not always the most desired thing. Just do what you know is right. As a child of God that means spending intimate time with God, carving out a space in the routine of the day to be with God in whatever way you meet with him best of all. It can be easily neglected but it will be sorely missed.