When you get ‘in the zone’ to accomplish a task before your illness is gone, do you find yourself blocking others out? Vicki shares.
“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. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).
Is it wrong for Christians to just want to be left alone at times?
Don’t talk to me. I’m here to do my water walking, not socialize.
Those are the thoughts I often have when I’m trying to exercise–a feat that demands my full concentration. Praying for others during my work out prevents me from feeling my pain or giving into exhaustion. I get in my zone, kind of like athletes who mentally block out all surrounding distractions.
Sometimes I reflect on the blessings God has provided or mentally draft a devotional. All the while maintaining a fixed focus on my goal: to keep moving for thirty minutes. My motivation? To maintain my mobility.
Often I wonder if it’s wrong for me to resist conversations with others in the pool. Then my MS reminds me I don’t have the luxury of enjoying exercise. Walking for half an hour is a marathon to me. Successful completion represents a huge accomplishment.
Even standing in a long line at the food store can be exhausting. Leaving me with little energy to share a perky smile. Filling my head with degrading thoughts: What kind of Christian are you? Why aren’t you spreading the joy of the Lord with that person next to you?
Then I comfort myself. You’re doing the best you can.
Athletes earn the prize when they remain focused on their goal. With their single-minded attention to one thing: winning. The most successful competitors don’t allow anything or anyone to derail their attention.
My challenge is to be just as focused on eternal prizes. To fight the good fight in a way that honors God. To live each day for Him, seeking His will, accepting His path and not demanding my own. Contemplating His blessings rather than my losses.
Prayer: Dear Father, When I’m in public and feel sore or weak, help me not offend others. Instead, help me share a smile or a kind word. I want others to see You in me—even when I’m tired or in pain. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 33-year-old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Through her blog, she reaches out to other mothers of children with mental illness. http://mentalillnessmom2mom.net/ and she has a new picture book about bullying: Heart Eyes: Beth and the Bullies., http://www.hearteyes.net
Disease can make it hard to press on. Doing so joyfully seems impossible at times. How do you stay focused on your earthly or eternal goal?
Have you ever felt close to God? Perhaps it was just an afternoon looking out your window or maybe it was at a special retreat when the noise of the world was gone. And then. . . when you feel His presence so strongly you don’t want to let go? You don’t want it to end! That is what this song is about. Starfield sings, “Can I Stay Here Forever?” May it bless you. -Lisa