Consider how consistency is the key to developing good habits. Yes, variety is the spice of life; sometimes we need to “mix it up.” However, there is value in repetition, i.e., trying to do the same thing in the same way, time after time after time. Strung together, good habits make for success, in both physical and spiritual endeavors.
Today I beat my previous best 10 km run. By “KEEPING IT S.T.E.A.D.Y.,” I was able to set two new personal records in the process: Fastest 10K = 51:08 and Fastest Average Pace = 5:06 min/km.
One of the blogs I regularly follow stressed the same theme. WayneStiles.com is a Bible Archaeology website dedicated to “Connecting the Bible and Its Lands to Life.” Today’s posting, available here, is entitled “15 Habits That Can Totally Transform Your Spiritual Life.”
Mr. Stiles says, “You make decisions each day. Make the same decisions often enough and they become habits — powerful, God-given gifts to help you walk with God and stay healthy.” He offers some interesting observations and suggestions. Give it a gander, applying as usual the principle of Acts 17:11.
Overnight storms in the Houston area resulted in heavy rainfall, wind damage and flooding. We were awakened at 4:45 a.m. by a severe weather alert notification that a tornado warning was in effect for Alvin.
It’s a good thing I waited to run until after sunrise because the nighttime storms caused quite a mess at Alvin Community College and the nearby YMCA Soccer Fields. Broken tree limbs littered the running track. 200 feet of chain link fence was pushed over. Soccer-field bleachers had been lifted from their foundation and lay crumpled 100 yards away. Trash cans and porta-potties were horizontal rather than vertical. Debris was scattered far and wide. High water covered portions of the ACC track.
Yet, for all the obstacles, it was a morning of opportunity. White herons stalked the swollen bar ditches, searching for a morning meal; black crows surveyed the strewn trash cans, scavenging for anything edible. An intrepid group of family and friends prepared a large pavillion for a Halloween Day celebration. Music was already blaring. The party must go on!
Despite facing gusts, rain and high water, and having to avoid wind-blown debris and broken limbs, I finished my 10 km run. Why? Sherelyn would say it’s because I’m silly, and she’s probably right.
Putting a positive spin on probable insanity, perhaps it is because I view obstacles as opportunities: Strong head-winds slow you down, but they cool you off. Rain is a refreshing break from typical Gulf Coast heat and humidity. Splashing through high water rejuvenates feet that pound the pavement around 9,700 times during a typical morning run.
Today’s run was slow, taking 1 hour, 2 minutes and 40 seconds to complete 10 km/6.2 miles. Nothing to brag about, for sure. Yet, pushing through allowed the accomplishment of another goal: I completed twenty-three 10 km runs in October, for a total distance of 231.41 km or 143.8 miles.
Of course, in the larger scheme of things, such statistics are insignificant, but they provide personal mile-markers. If we are goal oriented, results naturally follow. If one goal is unattainable, make another one. If conditions on a given day don’t allow for a PB (personal best) in speed, approach the session as an opportunity for increasing strength and endurance. Using this approach, we are well-positioned to face new challenges tomorrow.
The Apostle Paul hoped to journey to Rome, and after visiting with the disciples, travel on to Spain. Everything changed when he was arrested. Unable to receive a fair hearing from his own countrymen, he appealed to Caesar, and eventually made his defense before the Roman Emperor.
Writing to the Philippians, he said, “Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear” (Phil. 1:12-14).
When Plan A proved impossible, he shifted to Plan B. Adjusting to the obstacles, he made the most of the opportunities. May we show the same flexibility and determination.
By Mark Mayberry
Before daybreak at the end of October, when skies are clear, as they are today, the full moon casts its bright glow over the landscape. Absent the morning fog that normally shrouds the land, surrounding fields stretch into the distance, illuminated by silver, shimmering light. Stars and the moon reflect from pools of water that remain from the recent rains. What subtle beauty!
While moonlight is glorious, possessing singular beauty, sunlight is more so. The Law of Moses (the ministry of death) had a certain fading glory, but the gospel of Christ (the ministry of the Spirit) exceeds in glory (2 Cor. 3:7-11)
One is also reminded of Paul’s statement: “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.” Physical bodies, suitable for our present earthly habitation, possess certain advantage and attraction. However, for the faithful, such will be replaced by spiritual bodies, suitable for heavenly habitations. Those who attain unto the resurrection of life will enjoy an imperishable, glorious and powerful existence (1 Cor. 15:38-44).
Walking in this realm of shadows, let us rejoice in God’s provision, delighting in the moonlight as it graces our path, but may we develop an even deeper appreciation for the sunlight of His Law and His love:
Walking in sunlight all of my journey; Over the mountains, through the deep vale; Jesus has said, “I’ll never forsake thee,” Promise divine that never can fail.
Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight, Flooding my soul with glory divine: Hallelujah, I am rejoicing, Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.
By early Monday morning, the storm that dumped 5-9 inches of rain along the Texas Gulf Coast had departed, but strong winds remained. 25+ MPH gusts rushed down from the north, creating interesting running conditions: facing the wind was challenging; going with it gave a sense of fleet footedness. Few ventured out in such conditions; yet, the solitude was refreshing. Runtastic, the phone app that I use to track my daily exercise, says that I set two new PBs: 4:52/km and 7:58/mile. Thanks, #Runtastic, for making exercise interesting.
During my morning run, I regularly pass a mother and her two sons who frequent the track before going to school. The youngest boy appears to be 5-6 years old, and runs (sporadically) w/ flashing tennis shoes. Sometimes I find him sitting on a big rock. As we pass in opposite directions, we greet each other with a wave. This morning, the little one saluted me with a big stiff-armed thumbs up. Kid, you made my day!