Go to any gym or hotel fitness center and you are guaranteed to see a treadmill. In some gyms, there are rows and rows of treadmills. They are a popular choice for those looking for a cardio workout. I have tried several times getting on treadmills to exercise and have come to the conclusion that I do not like treadmills. In thinking about why I’m not a big fan of treadmills, I realized that a lot of people’s lives are on treadmills.
Treadmills provide motion without progress. No matter how many miles the counter on the treadmill says that you have run, the truth is you are only moved 2-3 feet. All of that effort just to continually remain in the same place where you start. Our lives are full of motion. We go here, there and everywhere. We run children from this practice to that event. We are tired when we get home and tired when we wake up. If asked the question, “Is your life busy?” most people will quickly say “YES!” But if you were asked, “What progress have you made this year?” then many of us would have to stutter and stammer in search of an answer. We must not mistake activity for advancement.
People on treadmills often occupy their time by listening to music or watching television as they are exercising. This helps to pass the time, so that thirty minutes of running doesn’t seem like such a chore. In life, people often distract themselves so that they don’t have to deal with the reality that they are going nowhere. Whether your distraction is television, social media, or more destructive things like drugs or illicit relationships, the distractions help you avoid your reality. If you want progress, get off of the treadmill of busyness and pursue the path of purpose. When you are walking in your purpose, you realize that the distractions are a deterrent to fulfilling your purpose. “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV).
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phil. 2: 5-8)
As we consider the example set by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we renew our desire to be like Him. We must allow the call to Humility, Obedience, Sacrifice, and Servanthood to thrust upward through the fertile ground of faith; settle gently in the furrows of our willing hearts and strengthen our resolve and commitment. For surely, if our Lord could give up equality with God, humble himself to be fashioned in the likeness of man to be tempted, tried and humiliated—Should we not be able to practice enough humility to consider one another’s feelings, get rid of egomania and work together for the good of the whole?
If our Lord could relinquish or sacrifice all the riches and glories of heaven, descend and live as a pauper (Matt. 8:20) and sacrifice even his own life that we may know the Heavenly way—Can we not sacrifice part of our time, finances and energies for the furtherance of the gospel?
If our Lord, co-maker, ruler, sovereign of the universe could lay down His power and majesty to become the lowliest of servants to man (Matt. 20: 20-28 & John 13: 1-14) – Can we not divest ourselves of high-minded attitudes and vain pursuits and simply serve Him by serving one another in obedience to His will and His word?
As we go forth in time may God bless us to heed the call of humility, obedience, sacrifice, and servanthood.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.
Archives Articles Written by Shepherd Harold D. Cannon
Nearly every day we hear excuses. All of us have made excuses at some point. Excuses are easy and convenient. However, excuses are also dangerous and can have eternal consequences. In Luke 14:15-24 we learn that God does not accept our excuses.
Jesus illustrates this truth in the parable of the great feast. One by one, people made excuses in an attempt to justify turning down the master’s dinner invitation. Those who rejected the invitation were ultimately rejected by the master. This parable illustrates the sobering reality about excuses: God finds them unacceptable! The truth of the matter is that excuses usually only satisfy those who give them.
We use excuses in an attempt to justify being less than who God has called us to be. We say things like, “I would be more but my family is dysfunctional.” “I would be generous but I don’t make enough money.” But if God calls us to it, then God is going to equip us for it and provide what we need to accomplish His will.
We use excuses to say no to God. We allow jobs, school, parents, busy schedules, children, and a host of other distractions keep us from participating in ministry. We say we are too young or too old. Although God is calling us to greater, we are content with average. We will even twist His word to justify sin.
We also use excuses to minimize our failures. We have a “Yea…but” problem. “Yea, I know I should have studied for the test, but…” “Yea, I know I should be at Bible class, but…” Yea, I know I said I would do this, but…”
We use excuses to justify our sins. “I would not have said that if you wouldn’t have made me mad.” “At least all I’m doing is watching porn.” “We need to do something before we get married to make sure we are compatible.” “We’re living together to see if marriage is going to work for us.” “I lied in order to protect you.” “What I did wasn’t that wrong, it’s not like I’m out there killing people.”
As long as we make excuses we will never make a change. We must come to a point where we quit making excuses and start making a change. We need to take responsibility for ourselves. Realize that although it may not be your fault, it is still your responsibility. It’s not your fault that you got knocked down, but it is your responsibility to get up. It’s not your fault that you were born into the family in which you were born, but it is your responsibility to make the most of the opportunities that you have been given. We should all strive to live a life of no excuses!
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