There’s a saying runners use, “You never regret the workouts you do, it’s the workouts you miss.” As I was running a longer run this morning, I thought of this. Perhaps it was because it was a particularly difficult run, and I had missed a workout this past week. But my reflection (while running) turned quickly to my personal walk with Christ.
I’m one of those guys who, growing up believed that the day I missed a “quiet time” was going to be a bad day regardless. I was pretty legalistic about my checklist approach to QT’s. Then, as often happens, I went through a long period where I was very inconsistent with QT’s and struggled for consistent solitude of any kind with Christ.
Today, that is my pursuit, a regular time of solitude with my Savior. I’ve even personally dropped “quiet time” language simply because of my somewhat distorted view. I want communion. I want relationship with the Eternal Ruler of the Universe through His perfect Word and prayer. What I know now, still with inconsistency, is that it is never my time with Him that I regret (even on early mornings, late nights, skipped lunches…whatever). What I regret is the time I miss with Him.
Think about it for a minute. Who at the end of their life wishes for more time at work, at the ballpark, in front of a TV or with a video game? No one. People wish they could have time with their family back. They regret not having spent more time in the relationships that matter. What relationship matters more than Christ? In fact, it is through that time that we will be increasingly assured of our relationship with Him, looking for His soon return.
Similarly in this life, usually my regrets of missing time with Christ happens well beyond the day that I missed Him. When you’re training for a marathon, it’s amazing how missing a few shorter runs so radically effects your much longer weekend run. Your endurance and strength are weakened and your mind more easily loses focus. Doesn’t that happen in our Christian walk? We are not as steadfast or strong and we cease to set our mind on things above (Colossians 3) when we miss time with Him.
Look, He is gracious. I’m not saying to treat some rigid time as a magic formula for the Christian walk. If you’re not careful your self-righteous dead man will reel his ugly head and pat you on the back for “doing” so well (this is why I lost the “quiet time” lingo). What you want is to be like David in the Psalms and commune with your God and Savior. Unlike David, there is no fear of losing the indwelling Spirit (Eph.1:13-14). So, you are secured in your access (just read Heb.10:19-24).
God will entrust you with longer runs in your Christian walk that will demand great endurance. In those times you will draw mostly from the faithful “little runs” in His Word that may have seemed mundane, even dutiful. Delight in His Word. In due season you will bear fruit. Keep going and don’t stop. If you do, remember 1 John 2:1 and then press on again.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.