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Garza County News

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Pastor Scott Richards, First United Methodist Church, Post

Walking With Jesus

Published March 26, 2012 @ 6 a.m.

As many people have discovered I have been taking about an hour a day to walk a little over three miles.  This exercise has had a lot of good results.  I have lost weight.  My blood pressure is down enough I no longer take medication for it.  I can breathe easier and I find everyday tasks easier to accomplish.  In my opinion that hour every day has been a small price to pay for how much more energy I have, how much better I feel, and how much more I accomplish every day.  However, there have been a few other costs.

In the beginning I couldn’t even walk a half a mile without my legs knotting up and having shin splints.  But I got over that.  Then my Achilles tendon decided to be strained.  It didn’t really bother me that much after I got going but when I had rested a little while it was a pain for the first few steps I took each time I moved.  But I got over that.  This past several weeks I have discovered that I have supination.  That is to say, I walk on the outside of my feet more than in the center.  As a result I am always wearing out my shoes especially my right shoe.  I am also a champion procrastinator and cheap.  Put together that means that I wait until my shoes are completely broken down before buying new ones.  As a result the whole right side of my right leg was giving me more and more fits.  But, I have gotten over that.  I finally bought new shoes.

Everything has its cost.  Good health comes with a few aches and pains every now and then.  The better health you gain the less the aches and pains but the probability is that you will still hurt from time to time.  When I took economics in college we talked about opportunity costs.  If I have $10.00 and chose to spend it on a hamburger dinner then it costs me the chance to use that $10.00 on a chicken dinner.  Everything has its costs.

We Christians like to talk about the free of love of God that is ours in Jesus Christ.  And God’s love is free.  The price for God’s love was paid for us on the cross of Jesus Christ.  But in order for us to receive God’s love we have to make room for it.  That means we have to be willing to move other things out of our lives.  That is why Jesus said, “If you wish to be my disciple you have to take up your cross and follow me.”  That is to say, if we wish to follow Jesus Christ we have to leave our preferences behind and begin to live our lives for God’s purposes of redemption for all of creation.  There is an opportunity cost to that decision.  Is the cost worth the prize?

Not long ago I got to be a part of ministry time with some young men.  During that time God gave me the chance to have a part in something truly wonderful.  I got to listen as these young men prayed to give their lives to Jesus Christ.  These young men understood that the cost to receive Jesus Christ was to change the lives they had been living for living their lives with Jesus.  They decided the value of having the love of God present in their lives was worth leaving their old way of life behind.  They did so in the hope that they, their children and their families could have a new life filled with the hope and love of God.

Every day I have to decide if I am going to go for my walk.  Sometimes the wind is blowing and the dirt is blowing.  Once it was misty and rainy.  Every day that I walk I have to give up something I could be doing with that time.  But the benefit of good health is worth more than everything I have to give up to go for that walk.

When we choose to give our lives to Jesus Christ there will always be other opportunities; opportunities that we give up to follow Jesus.  But the glory of following Jesus are so much greater than anything else we could be doing that it makes walking with Jesus more worthwhile than any cost we might pay.  With Paul the apostle we affirm, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ …” (Philippians 3:8)

 

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