Why You Don't Wait for a Good Day to Run
Anybody else out there ever get bored with praying or going to church or reading your Bible? Every Christian I know has. Some go through extended periods of dry prayers or dreaded church attendance. So why keep doing it?
Philip Yancey is a serious runner and author and Christian. In his book, Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference?, he explains the connection:
I learned early on never to ask myself, “Do you feel like running today?” I just do it. Why? I can think of many reasons. Regular exercise allows me to eat what I want without worrying about weight gain. It does long-term good for my heart and lungs. It allows me to do other activities, such as skiing and mountain climbing. . . . As with physical exercise, much of the benefit of prayer comes as a result of the consistency, the simple act of showing up. The writer Nancy Mairs says she attends church in the same spirit in which a writer goes to her desk every morning, so that if an idea comes along she’ll be there to receive it. I approach prayer the same way. Many days I would be hard-pressed to describe a direct benefit. . . . I show up in hopes in getting to know God better, and perhaps hearing from God in ways accessible only through quiet and solitude.
The phrase “so that if an idea comes along she’ll be there to receive it” – that’s what great writers do. They don’t wait for inspiration. They show up and work. Great ideas manifest themselves while they work.
The same happens with us spiritually. If you wait for inspiration to send you to church or Bible study or prayer, you might have an occasional moment to motivate you, but not often. And they will get fewer and farther between. Instead, you show up and get to work. That’s why they call them “spiritual disciplines.” Start praying. Start reading. Go to church and participate. Then God has something to work with.