Running with the Distractions

dreambigNehemiah 6:1-3
God-inspired dreams will require you to persevere through distractions
About four years ago, I got onto the most successful health and fitness kick of my life. Over the course of six months, I lost as much as 65 pounds, eventually settling in at around 50 pounds below my unfortunate high-water mark. During that same period, I took up running. That was strange enough, but more curious still was the fact that I actually, for the first time in my life, enjoyed running. Running became an essential part of my life, on the trails in Overland Park and the streets of Independence and the gravel roads around Oak Grove, I ran six days a week.
Eventually, I started running in races of 3, 6, and 13 miles. In 2015, I ran a half-marathon in under two hours. That’s not fast but it’s pretty good for a fat boy!
I enjoyed the energy, the way my clothes fit, the way I could bound up steps, and the sense that I could do anything. And then, a little over a year ago, I took my eye off the ball. During the late fall of 2015, I let the exercise routine get away from me and went back to my old ways of eating. It wasn’t that I intended to change, but I became distracted. A trip to Nashville and then a holiday and suddenly my good habits had given way to my old bad habits. All of 2016 was a struggle, a struggle I mostly lost.
I’m convinced that being a reasonably healthy, fit person is a God-inspired dream for me. When I’m healthy, I will have a better attitude and be able to do more for longer for the Kingdom. And so why wouldn’t distractions try to turn my head to pizza buffets and binge-watching?
Not every distraction is a fiend from the pit of hell. Some distractions are just other people pulling on us or our own fleshly inclinations pushing us. But the reality is that whatever is good in our lives will have to weather distractions. How we deal with them will largely determine our success.
  • Think over the dreams that God has led you to embrace in the past. Have you face distractions while trying to keep your eye on that prize?
  • What tools can you use to be as effective as Nehemiah in pushing aside distractions?
  • Would a stronger, more consistent prayer life and Bible reading routine help you to keep your attention on the dreams God has ordained for you? What are you willing to do about making that a reality?