Mondays are typically a day that people dread. How many people do you know that say “Happy Monday!” (well, besides me)? Very few! Well, we want to help you have a positive day, week, month, year, life … So every Monday we have a series called ME: Motivation Encouragement. This is one way we can help you start your Monday off on the right foot. ME: Motivation Encouragement. Don't be distracted by a bench.

A few weeks ago I was running Rocky Raccoon 100 mile ultramarathon and the race course was held on a state park. Along the trail there were scattered benches. At first the benches blended in with woods, the leaves, the roots, the mud ... But as the race (and miles) wore on, the benches became more and more noticeable and enticing. It was all I could to do to keep moving forward and not sit down on one of the benches.

After the race, I was thinking of those park benches and how they can apply to our life. How many times during this journey we call life, grow tired, weary or distracted by things around us? The longer we keep on the straight and narrow path, the more appealing those benches will become.

The bench can represent so many things. We can give up and call it quits - "it takes too much effort."  Give in to temptation. Eating or drinking things that aren't good for us. Perhaps it's something we are trying to give up and it is hard to keep saying no. People telling you it can't be done. People trying to tear you down because they want you to fail. Regardless of what it may be, that bench will always be there. Saying "come sit a while." Trying to justify why you should quit what you started. Telling you that you'll never make it. Trying to distract you. Oh-look-pretty-shinny-object!

Taking the bench option is the easy way out because you are looking for an excuse. "I'm tired." "I can't do this." "It's too hard." Give in to the bench and feel defeated OR say no to the bench and live in freedom. The choice is yours.

The question becomes are you going to say no to the bench or give in to it? Only with God's grace and mercy can we stay on the path He has for us.

Your ME: Motivation Encouragement today is to say no - SHOUT NO! - to the bench that is looking so very tempting. Do not be discouraged. Don't grow weary. Be strong. Live with confidence!

* Note: this is not saying to never rest. Perhaps you literally need a nap. Take one and get back up again with renewed energy to finish what you started. 

What's your bench?

"Take charge! Take heart! Don't be anxious or get discouraged. God, my God, is with you in this; he won't walk off and leave you in the lurch. He's at your side until every last detail is completed for conducting the worship of God". (1 Chronicles 28:20 Message translation)


Photo credit: KendraKaptures