I recently completed the NHS Choices Couch to 5K plan. It’s a series of podcasts that promises to get you running from 0 to 30 mins or 5K in a set number of weeks. There’s a coach who gives encouragement, (she keeps saying, “you’re doing great”, even although she has no idea whether you are or not!), timings are all set, and the music makes you run faster just to get away from it. It’s good!
Of course you could listen to all the podcasts, get the running gear, read the hints and tips and never get off the couch. Now wouldn’t that be silly!
So why do we not think it’s silly to listen to talks, buy a bible, read books, sign up for spiritually encouraging notifications, and never get off the spiritual couch?
I was prompted to ask that question by listening to a talk by Bill Hybels entitled Stronger in Faith.(http://media.willowcreek.org/weekend/stronger/#content)
His basic premise is that if we want to grow stronger in faith we need to work out. And we do this in stages:
1. Get off the couch
2. Take some steps
3. Take some more steps
4. Reach your goal
And Bill makes an interesting point. He says don’t wait until you have the power to do the difficult thing – end a relationship, quit an addiction, forgive a wrong – because it’s when you get started that you get the strength, what he calls “power along the way”. When you get off the couch, faith grows, God shows up, and step by step you grow stronger.
At that start of Couch to 5K I found it difficult to run for a minute; by the end I could run for 30 mins. I have faith challenges that have me still on the couch, but I’m getting off the couch today (maybe just for a minute!) and stepping up, anticipating that power along the way will become reality.
Come, step with me!