Unprepared

I almost died today. There I was, sauntering on the side of the road, barely able to breathe while trying to ignore the cold air whipping at my face. Pain erupted every time my chest lifted to intake the dry air.

Ok, I didn’t actually almost die. But I’m a writer, and I felt the need to embellish. My apologies for causing any unnecessary concern.

But I did feel like I was somewhat dying.

Basically, around mid-November I had stopped running because my feet were hurting and I wasn’t stretching enough. Then Thanksgiving came around and, well, I sort of forgot about being healthy. (The holiday season can do that to you.)

But of course, there’s nothing like the new year to help reinforce old habits, break bad ones, and start new ones! So I decided to run again today.

Ha.

I was not prepared—at all. (Hence the dying factor.)

About 15 minutes into my run with my brother, I fell behind and realized a simple truth:

You have to be prepared if you want to grow.

In the past, I always frowned at preparation because I saw too many people prepare but never do. Obviously, though, there is some value to it, and I learned that lesson today.

Jesus’ disciples, too, learned this lesson when they tried to cast out a demon and, to their dismay, could not. Jesus told them, “this kind can only be cast out by prayer” (Mark 9:29).

In a world that wants to see everything right here and now, it can be easy to forget this timeless truth. But when we remember it—this art of preparing—it takes a certain amount of faith to change the outcome without actually seeing the result yet.

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