Having spent most of the last two weeks either lying in bed, or bent over a bucket, it was a great relief to be well enough to get outside to see what the world was like once more. However, a short stroll out the door was enough to drain every last trace of energy from my body, and send me back to sleep for a few hours longer. It can be extremely frustrating to find the routine tasks of the day becoming major hurdles to be overcome. It quickly became evident that any return to normal life would have to be managed piece-by-piece.

I experienced this in another setting recently upon returning to active sport after a lay-off of a few years. The body would not react as quickly as the mind was expecting, nor was the stamina present to continue beyond short bursts of activity. I quickly recognised the need for some extra exercise to build up the energy levels once more.

Many people feel the call to return to prayer, or to reading their Bible after years of non-activity. They are quickly frustrated that they cannot spend lengthy times in either of these worthwhile activities, with the result that they often give up after a few days. Memories of great achievements in earlier days, or of what they had read of others prevent them from engaging even for a short period.

Discipline of any kind needs to be built. No-one seeks to get fit by running a marathon after years of inactivity. It is those smaller, achievable pieces that build strength for greater ones in time.

Have you neglected spending time with God in prayer? Or overlooked reading the Bible regularly and learning from its truth? Start with five minutes a day, and build from there. Over time, the God who may seem strangely distant right now will draw ever closer to you. You might even find it becomes difficult to miss that time each day....

July 19, 1998
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