On some of my morning runs this week I have been very tempted to quit early and take a short cut home. However I also know that if I take a short cut today, I’ll be even more tempted to do so again tomorrow ,which will just mess up my exercise routine and ultimately affect my overall health and well-being.
Shortcuts no doubt may make us feel relieved initially, but as with most shortcuts the desired results will be less than they should be and our emotions and undisciplined thoughts will frequently begin to dictate to us, rather than God’s presence, instruction and overall purpose for our lives.
Shortcuts are not just about being lazy about our exercise, but also encompasses the shortcuts we can take in our relationships, as well as ethical, financial, moral and spiritual shortcuts and the wide array of detours and cutting of corners we can be tempted to take in every area of our lives.
Shortcuts are really about our character and what we are focused on. We can if not careful begin to think our way is better than God’s leading, and question why we need to put in all that extra effort when we can take the quick and easy route to get to where we want to go. When tempted with these thoughts to take shortcuts we would be wise to first ask ourselves, “Am I looking ahead and keeping pace with God’s greater plan for my life or am I being short-sighted and looking for the easy, rather than the best way for my life.”
God’s words in the bible have some wisdom regarding shortcuts and says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5 NLT)
Jesus said, “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with sure-fire, easy-going formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life – to God! – is vigorous and requires total attention. (Matthew 7:13 The Message)
Next time you are tempted to take a shortcut, first stop and assess the wisdom in that decision; whether it is the best way rather the easiest route, and if is going to lead you completely in the way God’s word instructs you to go? Because hasty shortcuts, where we rush into things can cause us to miss the mark and the abundant life God has planned for us. Better to do things God’s way, run our race well and receive the prize.
“Don’t you realise that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step? I am not shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-26)
Prayer: I’m choosing to run my race well today, and to not take shortcuts. Lord please help me to have wisdom as I walk through my day, and to recognise where I might be being tempted to make hasty decisions or to cut corners in my life. Instead I want to choose your better way and ask for your strength to do that today. In Jesus name Amen.