You have got to love those emails from the Sporting Goods Store. When the sweet lady at the register rang up the running shoes I was buying, along with athletic gloves, and super-sport socks, well, she must have assumed I was purchasing them for myself. Easy mistake—I’m sure.
And when she wondered if I might like to share my email address, I really didn’t bargain on more than a few coupons to grace the doorstep of my computer. Plus, it gave me an added discount on my Christmas presents. With that said, I look forward to the words of encouragement designed to make me buy, but keep me laughing in route to the nearest restroom. January’s encouragement for the New Year: Get Inspired—Run the Pittsburgh Marathon.
Oh, this, this is the classic that made my daughter (who is an avid runner and has accomplished several half-marathons), follow me giggling to the bathroom. Sending that email to me—obviously they have no clue who they are dealing with! Although digging out from under the pile of wrapping paper did bump up my cardio. And I don’t need a Fitbit to tell me when I’ve hit 10,000 steps, because my aching legs send the signal loud and clear.
So, maybe the idea is not all that crazy. I mean, last night I did get the high score on the Wii Just Dance game with Brooklyn. And a few weeks ago I went to yoga. Slow-flo sounds so nice and…slow. It’s not! Then I went to the basement and ran a mile on the treadmill going an average of 4.4. miles per hour. In case you’re wondering how fast is 4.4 on a treadmill. It seems to be the equivalent to my pace while darting into the grocery on a time crunch, with no carts in the way, of course. So if you’ve run in and out of the grocery several times this week, you can consider that a simulated trot on the treadmill. Pittsburg Marathon here we come!!!
Or maybe not yet. Although, I have done Zumba (or Zoomba), classes with my daughter and her friends. The last time I went, my oldest daughter invited me to the back row where she thought I would be more comfortable. I love it when my children show concern for my health and well-being.
Really, more than needing the exercise, I wanted to go because I liked the name… Z-o-o-o-o-m-ba. Anything with the word zoom in it sounds inspirational. Zooming is something I rarely do. During the class I stationed myself right next to Brittany. I got a little concerned as the music speeded up with the movements. I was sort of afraid once I hit top speed, I’d need help slowing down. I found out quickly that zoom—a word which implies speed—like to whiz, or whoosh, was way faster than 4.4.m.p.h. And whizzing into someone does jar things. Just so you know. It also causes a person to have to whoosh to the restroom. And just because the word zumba and yoga both end fancifully in the word a, they are on opposite sides of the exercise spectrum, but make you sweat the same. The word profuse comes to mind. Shew!
But there is just something that inspires me to try. To zoom to the next level. To stretch my body and try to balance on one leg until I sway like a stork in the wind. After all, I get these emails that encourage me to Get Inspired—Run the Pittsburgh Marathon. I might not be able to take on a marathon, but it’s nice to know someone thinks I can. The sporting goods store believes in me and my super-sport socks (plus the bandages, hydration equipment, oxygen tank, and any more marathon extras I may need to purchase while I’m at their store). But if they have faith in me, why can’t I have faith in myself and who I am in Christ???
Okay, so it’s just an email, but how many inspirational messages from God have I laughed at and thought, does he really know who he’s dealing with here? Or how many times has He inspired me to reach out to someone in need, to volunteer, or to stretch out of my comfort zone, and I’ve ignored the nudge. I’m not alone.
Moses was incited by God to lead the Israelite’s from slavery to a land promised them. In Exodus 3 verse 10 God is talking to Moses stating, “So, now go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Moses’ response is familiar as he tries to squeeze God-sized inspiration into a box of human-sized limitation. It just doesn’t fit.
Moses goes on to ask what he should do if the people do not believe him, and explains to God (the one who created him), why he’s not the right man for the job. “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and of tongue.” (Exodus 4:10). Apparently Moses did not get the email: Get inspired—Lead my people to the promise land!
God was looking at Moses through his own super-natural, all-knowing eyes. Sadly, we see ourselves through our humanness. And even with a good squint it can still be a blur.
When I was a teen-ager I wanted to be a writer. After all, I was the editor for my high school newspaper. I wrote semi compelling stories on school graffiti and the power of student vote. So, I job shadowed a writer from the News Journal, a local newspaper where my father worked. By days end, the columnist had me doubting (and eventually denying), the passion that burned in me. I allowed my dream to be snuffed out by human opinion and self doubt. Thank goodness I’m not the source of my own inspiration, or I may have missed the chance to write my first book, Fix-Her-Upper: Hope and Laughter Through a God Renovated Life, coming out this spring.
So it’s true. Looking to the right source of encouragement is critical. A beautiful painting can move us. A well written word can lift us. An email can motivate us off the couch and into our super-sport socks. A well written word can give us a smile and encourage us through difficulties. But God is the true source of inspiration—his Word is our muse. Inspiring us, transforming us, and stirring our Spirits to a whole new level. Even more inspiring—God knows exactly who He’s dealing with!
“ For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) NIV.
Don’t miss the inspiration. Happy New Year! Inspire 2017!