“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” 1 Corinthians 9:24
Have you started your day with the words “I don’t want to”?You may not want to get out of bed because the health issue that caused you to toss and turn all night is sending shooting pains to all your joints. Maybe you awoke thinking about work where you are just tired of trying to do what is right in a system that seems designed to take and take and take. Or, your thoughts had immediatelyturned to the conversation you must have with your child about what fell out of their backpack, and you know those talks never seem to go well. Even though you know what you must do, you lie there and repeat “I don’t want to, I just don’t want to face the day”.
Paul’s comment (Cor 9:24) to the Corinthians is about self-discipline; finding ways to at least put one foot after the other and start moving. He notices that people are struggling with life choices which areaffecting their relationships as well as their faith. His overall tone in the letter seems to admonish but he is, in fact, trying to motivate by reminding people where their hope lies; it is with Christ who promises to be with us during our good and bad days. He reminds them that they must try to go after the prize to enjoy the life they have.
Hearing someone say, “suck it up and get moving” does not make our concerns go away, more than likely it adds to our frustration. However, we all need a little push from time to time. The Bible is filled with passages that motivate and encourage, and just reading or hearing one can do wonders for our spirit. Consider finding a passage you feel will jump-startyour day and write it on a card. Before you go to bed, place it so it is one of the first things you see when your eyes open. Then say it in your head and then out loud. Sit up in your bed, pick up the card and read it again. The Holy Spirit, who is our comforter, will help you find meaning in those words and can help us get out of bed.
We are not failures or loved less by God if we utter the words “I don’t want to”. We are human and we have been created in the image of a loving, caring and motivated God, but sometimes we struggle. Sometimes these mornings are happening too often and as much as you read your verse, you still feel “you don’t want to.” You must do something about that. Paul ends his thoughts on motivation with the words “therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air” (1 Cor 9:26). He is saying do something meaningful to help you win your race. Friend, please talk tosomeone about your troubles. We are created to help one another. Share your troubles with a friend. If necessary, seek medical assistance. God wants what is good for us and has allowed gifts and talents to flourish in people so they can help us who struggle. Maybe you are that person God prepared so you can help others. Keep an eye out for your friends and be ready to lend them an ear to listen or a shoulder to rest on. Don’t be afraid to encourage them.
For many, getting out of bed can be their prize that day. God knows the world and life we face each day is not the one He intended for us. He offers to be with us every waking and sleepingmoment. He has prepared others to help us face the world. Today, do something to ensure that tomorrow when you awaken, your words are “I don’t want to but I can and I will”.