Luke 5:16 As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer.
While listening to the radio the other day on my drive to work, a runner was describing his ability to run 30 miles a day without hitting the wall. Hitting the wall is a term runners use to describe what happens when they are running and suddenly they feel extreme fatigue and loss of energy.
He went on to describe that endurance runners, those who run long distances even cross country, know that slow and steady are the keys to avoiding hitting the wall. He said there was a formula to endurance and that was to run and recover, run and recover, run and recover.
I began to think of ministry and how often we run but don’t recover and we end up hitting the wall. Jesus seemed to understand that the demands on his life required him to run and recover often. Over and over again in Scripture, Jesus heals, meets needs, preaches, teaches and then goes off to recover. Sometimes he takes his disciples with him. Other times he goes off alone but always he is running and recovering and endurance doesn’t seem to be a problem.
How often do you get away to pray alone? Do you make time and have a place in your life where the cell phone and the demands of daily life get left behind and the only thing that goes with you is a desire to pray and hear from God? Are you like some who are hitting the wall and wondering why you aren’t fulfilled in your calling and why you can’t seem to push beyond a certain place in your ministry?
Sometimes the most urgent thing you can do is rest. ~ Anonymous
If there is anything I have learned this year it’s to run and recover without regret. I used to feel lazy if I took a day off to sleep and rest. No longer is that a thought in my head. I use to feel bad if someone knocked on my front door on my day off and I didn’t want to answer. Not anymore. You see, I understand that if I am going to run this race to the finish, then endurance is key and recovery is necessary. It’s not an option. We must learn to be strategic. We must learn to not bow to every urgent need but instead focus and not lose sight nor neglect the important things in life.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.