So I’ve been training for this event in St. Louis called “Tough Mudder” in April of 2013. My usual routine is 3-5 miles on the elliptical machine and then some strength training. This past Tuesday I switched it up. I did the strength training and then got on the elliptical machine to do 3 miles.
As soon as I started going I was like, “uh-oh.” My legs were like jelly. I thought there was no way I would be able to do 3 miles. So I started negotiating with myself in my head. I thought, “I can do half.” I figured a mile and a half is good considering I was dog-tired from the strength training. So I made up my mind that I would do half.
Somewhere between the half mile and three quarter mile mark I started thinking about Matthew chapter 5 where Jesus is teaching about anger and adultery. (Weird Right?…Stay with me here.) Jesus is teaching that if you are even angry with someone, it’s the same as murder. In the same way a little further down he says just looking at another person lustfully is the same as committing adultery. I’m like, “WOW! Jesus really upped the ante.”
It’s not only what we do, but what we think that is important. How many know that all we need as humans is a thought in the wrong direction and we’re off and running. So, at this point I’m thinking to myself that our mind; our thoughts are powerful. As soon as I stepped on the elliptical machine; in my mind I was defeated. I thought, “There is no way I can do 3 miles.” There are times in our lives where it is tough. Life has a way of “switching things up” on us, kicking us until we’re down, and then kicking us some more.
In our minds we can be tempted to “do half.” Read the bible half-heartedly, pray half-heartedly, serve half-heartedly, give half-heartedly, love half-heartedly, or only do half of that stuff…you get the point. So, I decided, in my mind, that I was going to go the full 3 miles. That I wasn’t going to “do half”, because there are other guys doing this “Tough Mudder” thing with me that are counting on me to go the whole way and I don’t want to cheat them or myself. Well, guess what? I made it! Less than a half mile in I was talking myself out of going all out and when my mind changed, my body followed. It wasn’t a record-breaking time by any means, but I still finished it.
So next time you’re thinking about doing half of what you know you should or doing things half-heartedly, just remember change your mind and your body will follow. Our thoughts are just as important as our actions. You never know who’s watching and who’s depending on you to go all out for Jesus.