What am I doing?
That was my question today as sweat poured from my body and I tried to recover from a hard run and a set of burpees. I find that what motivates me is important to keep in front of me. The voice in my head always wants to question the things that are demanding.
What motivates me right now is pretty easy.
A few weeks ago a friend mentioned his desire to get in better shape. There may have been some mention of a mid life crisis. I’m not sure, but I quickly invited him to run the Spartan Race coming up this fall in Michigan. I wasn’t actually sure if I was going to do the race. I had completed my Spartan Trifecta goal last year. You can read more posts connected to that here. However, the race was coming to Michigan for the first time, so I was interested. But… before I knew it, I was committed.
The reason is simple.
It is for the sake of others.
I know that having an event before you that motivates you to train is the best way to establish the habit of eating better and working out. I wanted to give that to my friend, so I jumped in too.
I ran last year for myself. It was about doing something hard to establish some steel in my soul.
This year, it is for the sake of others.
In fact, I want my entire life to reflect that priority. All too often, it’s just about me. Me is easy. Me is natural. Living for others demands something more of us. I want to learn how to give that freely. It is part of Jesus call in our lives.
When Jesus gave the great commandment to Love God and Love Others, he gave an example. He said “Love your neighbor as yourself.” See the whole text here.
The example pierces through the complexity of our motivations. We are naturally inclined to take care of ourselves. I am quick to pursue my self interest. Jesus takes our innate motivation and flips it on us.
Pursue the interests of others like you do for yourself.
It’s called loving and it is supposed to motivate our every action.
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:4
There is nothing complicated here. Just a simple reminder that your life is not your own. You belong to the Lord and he has a different and better way to live. It is the way Jesus lived.
For the sake of others.
I’m in. How about you?
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