“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
As you might know, I live in a small town in the thumb of Michigan. And as all of you probably know, Michigan gets very cold in the winter. Maybe it’s not quite the tundra…but it does get pretty cold.
This bitter cold weather makes a great excuse for not training for multiple reasons:
- It’s not good for your muscles.
- It’s not easy to breathe.
- It’s slippery.
So I guess training outside is not the greatest option. I’ve been running inside around the hall in our high school. But even inside offers even more seemingly good reasons:
- I can’t wear my spikes.
- The corners are too sharp to go full speed.
- The cement is bad for my shins.
The next option would be to travel to an indoor track facility. But …
- It’s about an hour and a half away.
- The roads might not be great for driving.
- I don’t know anyone there.
These seemingly good reasons are excuses and they are extremely easy to make.
Tonight is New Year’s Eve and we all know what that means: a new year, new opportunities, new goals and many resolutions. Despite the 365 days we are gifted with each year, how often do we let our excuses get in the way of our goals?
If you really want something, go after it! Whether it be relationally, physically, spiritually, financially — whatever it may be — write it down and work for it. Don’t make excuses. Excuses never produce change, they are only reasons for complacency.
Over the past week I’ve run on the shoveled track, around the hall way, and through a snow plowed lane in our field. I can’t say any of it was exactly comfortable, but it was all profitable because each training session was another step in making me a better athlete.
And I certainly did none of that on my own. And I doubt you will be able to accomplish whatever you have written on your 2018 resolution sheet either if you try to do it on your own. I am fortunate to have great parents who also happen to be pretty great coaches. My dad helped me shovel the track, move some hurdles and plow a path. My mom helped spot me to make sure I didn’t hurt myself during lifting. And my roommate and teammate, Carmen, is holding me accountable. I know that she is out there training in the opposite kind of harsh weather with highs of 95, but she is training hard nonetheless.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another,” Provers 27:17.
There is little we can do on our own strength, but if there is something you really want to achieve in 2018, first make it a goal to leave your excuses in 2017, and surround with the people who are going to not o only help you, but challenge you to be your very best.
Happy New Year!