Motivation is one of the coolest things. It is motivation that fuels a runner to move stride after stride down the road of a 26 mile marathon. It is motivation that drives a person to work hard at a job, day in and day out, to provide for a family. It is motivation that pushes a student to keep on studying even when the night is late and she wants to give up. It is motivation that pulls a person out a desperate situation and causes him to run after a better life.
One day while I was running, I had told myself I would do 10 sprint sets. I had gotten to 6 and the cramps in my legs started telling me I was going to stop early. The shakiness in my calves told me to give up and panting breaths said, “ No one knew your goal! They will have no idea if you finished it or if you didn’t.” So I stepped of the treadmill and got a drink.
As I stretched out a little, I started to regain some strength. I heard a little voice inside me saying, “You’ve got it left in you. Finish.” Honestly, I did not feel like I had the energy left to do it and I did not quite know how much good 4 more sprint sets would do. It’s not like those 4 sprint sets will turn me into an Olympic athlete. But there was a commitment I had made inside myself to finish ten and I knew that the coach inside me would not be satisfied unless I did.
So, I stretched my calves, swung my arms and jumped back on. It wasn’t the music in my headphones that motivated me. It wasn’t the older man walking on the treadmill next to me that motivated me, obviously. I wasn’t motivated by the great difference that completing the work out would make.
I was motivated by a commitment.
Sometimes this is how bettering our lives can look. Maybe you feel like the people around you are not challenging you to be better or maybe you feel like nobody close to you is chasing after God, making you wonder why you should even try. Maybe you don’t see the point. You don’t feel like reading your Bible today will make you perfect so you skip reading it today. Maybe you feel like going to a Sunday church service is going to automatically turn your life around, so you decide to skip. And since you feel like no one can see or knows all that you do, it doesn’t matter if all of your little decisions honor God, because no one can judge what they don’t know.
What we are running up against here are just motivation issues. Without commitment as our motivation, there is no true integrity calling us to a higher standard, especially in the little things that no one else sees. If our motivation for being a Christian is to please other people, it won’t be enough. If our motivation is because we feel like we “have to” pray or read our Bibles, it won’t be enough. If our motivation in going to church is to look like a good person, it won’t be enough. If we constantly depend on what everyone around us is doing to inspire us, sometimes it just isn’t enough. Sometimes we are tempted to drop out, and this is because we haven’t committed fully. We get discouraged when we haven’t invested our whole selves in our relationships with God. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
It has to start with a commitment inside of you, a drive within who you are that pushes you to be better than who you were the day before. Making a commitment to chase after God daily isn’t easy, but it’s so worth it.
There are times where we have people alongside us encouraging us on. There are times where we have the perfect environment that encourages us to serve God in our lives. But ultimately, the commitment to follow God starts in you. The passion to reach people has to start in you. That day where I was running and thinking all of this over, I finished all ten sets. I felt so accomplished that I did, so I went for eleven! It feels good to stay true to our commitments. Let your commitment to God motivate you and push you forward. There are so many great things ahead!