I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:14 NLT
"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
My dedication to exercise almost parrots a mail person’s commitment. In my younger years, I mixed up my exercise regimen by jogging, running, cycling, and walking. Now that I’m older and the joints achier, I stick to walking only.
If I were an inside exerciser, the outside temperature or what was falling from the sky wouldn’t worry me. But I’m not an inside exerciser. I prefer the outdoors where I can breathe fresh air, gaze at the various patterns of clouds, and listen to the birds. And I walk, regardless. Well … almost.
A common saying among hikers and backpackers is “Rain is not a deterrent, just an inconvenience.” When it comes to exercising, I believe the saying and have the notches on my backpack to prove it. As long as lighting isn’t popping, sleet or hail isn’t falling, or temperatures aren’t plunging into the teens, I walk. I enjoy it, know it’s good for my health, and realize I could easily find excuses not to if I wasn’t determined.
Paul encourages the same kind of perseverance in obeying Christ and living a holy life. He planned to press on until he reached heaven—or met Christ at His second coming.
Persevering to the end takes a determined mindset, such as the one I have about exercising. If I wanted, I could easily find excuses every day not to exercise. Too hot, too cold, raining, tired, too much to do. But I am determined to stay as healthy as possible so I can enjoy the life God has given me.
On my own, I can’t manage the type of perseverance this takes. The courage comes from God who is more than able to supply the determination I need to obey Him in my actions, my words, and the practice of my spiritual disciplines.
Paul knew the benefits of persevering in God’s calling on his life. Exercise has benefits. That’s why I keep doing it, whether I feel like it or not. I know living as God wants me to brings peace, assurance, and joy. Doing so may not always be easy—it wasn’t for Paul—but it’s the best exercise around.
Don’t let discouragement, laziness, or other things keep you from persevering until the end for God.
Prayer: Father, give us the strength we need to follow You faithfully until the end.
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