This morning I was really asking God that he might clear this mind block that I seem to be experiencing the last week or so. No matter how much I’ve tried to enter into a deeper frame of mind during messages, readings, conversations, and small groups this week, I’ve felt a disconnect.
Finally, this morning I asked for a brain/heart reboot. God answered this prayer when I began reading, of all things, my mini feed. I saw a quote on a friend’s wall from our pastor and honestly, didn’t think much of it. It simply said, “We all would do well to depend on God for our daily bread, not a yearly supply.” I moved on fairly quickly to the next post, as I sheepishly tend to do when I see a paragraph long spiritual quote on my mini feed. Not that this was a paragraph long. But you know what I mean.
Then I began reading through the first 11 verses of chapter 5 in Romans. A short ways in, verse 3 said, “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance.” The word endurance created some sort of shift in myself. It got me thinking about the analogy I always hear about in 1 Timothy 4 about exercising daily in the Word. The longer I do this “Word work out”, the more endurance I build up in my life. Read on in Romans 5 and find that endurance produces character which in turn produces hope. Yes please.
I don’t know about you, but every now and then, I go work out really hard. I feel real pumped up for the day, I burn a bazillion calories, and I’m feeling good. The next day, yeah, I’m sore. So I take a day off. The day after that, I feel even sorer, so I decide to continue the fast from exercise. I take this break until my body is able to recover from that one killer workout. I think to myself, “Well gee, I did a lot of really hard stuff that one day, I can probably wait another [fill in the blank] days before I go again. I’m all stocked up on exercise this week.”
As soon as I thought of this well known exercise comparison, my mind instantly flicked back to that mini feed quote: “We all would do well to depend on God for our daily bread, not a yearly supply.” Ding dong! Anybody home?
This made complete sense to me just then. Just like I can’t pretend that once a week hardcore exercise is enough to keep me physically fit, I shouldn’t think that I can deeply dig into the Bible (daily bread) just every now and then (yearly supply) and not feel like I’m a complete dead head. Sure, I read the Word nearly every day. Big whoop. If I simply read it each day but fail to DO anything with it, it’s worthless! I think this exact reading and listening style has put me into a shallow mind pool. I feel like my times reading and listening and talking this week have been lackluster, and it’s not because God’s word, the preacher, or my friends are boring or shallow. I think I’m just trying to depend on myself to encounter God, and when I do that, I don’t encounter anything but a road closed sign.
I may be sporting some sort of spiritual spare tire right about now. I need to hit the gym and get rid of some flab.