I have recently discovered that at the age of 25 my metabolism has started slowing down, meaning that I can no longer eat whatever I want without reaping the physical results. This has led to me running on a regular basis as I attempt to keep in shape and avoid one of my fears of being overweight.
Running has been both great for me physically and spiritually as it has also given me an opportunity to spend time conversing with God in the midst of my run. This has led to many great times communing with God and reflecting on what He has been teaching me in this season of my life.
Where I have been running is on a Green Way path in Raleigh that is paved and surrounded by a wooded area. As I started to run I immediately noticed that every so often there would be a wooden bench on the side that is great if someone is taking a leisurely stroll or wanting to do some bird watching, but counterintuitive to a guy like me who is trying to run to get back in shape.
These benches got me thinking about the Christian life, the fact that it is not easy, and that there are many temptations along the way to trip us up. The first few days that I went running on this path was a struggle in the least, but then every time I passed one of these benches it made me want to give up, quit, and sit down.
Just like these benches caused me to be tempted to give up on being in shape and caused me to want to sit down, so in the Christian life we often experience something similar. If you have been a Christ follower for any of amount of time then you know that in the same way that these benches would pop up for me every so often so temptations pop up daily in the life of a Christian.
Many times we give into these temptations instead of abiding in the gospel, which gets us down and causes us to want to sit down and give up on the Christian life. But just like for me to push forward and stay on the task of my run, so in the Christian life we must abide (remain) in Christ in the midst of these temptations in order to endure through them, so that at the end of our life we may join Paul in saying, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 2:7