Thursday, January 15, 2015
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My friend, Bob, is a pastor, and he's also a jogger. Which some would say, he's a jogger but otherwise normal. Well one day he went jogging and he came home and he started to do some work at his desk. He started to write his address on some bills he was paying, except his wife noticed it wasn't his address. And that was her first clue. It turned out that Bob had suffered a mild stroke while he was running.
Now, jogging really is good for you, but in this case he'd had a stroke and he didn't even realize it. So he ended up losing his speech, thought functions, and he recovered slowly. Some of the sermon preparations that used to take hours, now took all week. It was amazing that in the middle of all of that, Bob felt okay when he had his stroke. The doctor said, "You probably experienced a runner's high. It's this mysterious euphoria that takes over and it covers up the pain." That's kind of scary. You can run so hard that you can't feel the damage being done.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Price of a Runner's High."
Our word for today from the Word of God: Luke 10, beginning at verse 38. Now, as we read this, remember that image of a man running so hard he isn't able to feel the damage being done. Let's go to Martha. "Jesus came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister's left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me.' 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you're worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.'"
Well, here's Martha. And man, I can identify. She's running hard. She represents so many of us, absorbed in our busyness, our deadlines, our stress, our success, our responsibilities, our to-do list. But Martha is running so hard she's unaware of the damage being done. She was missing her Lord, even though she was serving Him. She was missing her sister.
Sound at all familiar? Well, maybe you're running pretty hard right now. Okay, be careful. There might be some damage that you can't feel because of your runner's high. Maybe you're unaware of a partner or a child who is being neglected. They're not yelling. They're not screaming for you. They're just quietly hurting and missing you. They've been left in your busy wake and you can't feel it because you're running so hard.
Maybe the people around you are being stepped on, ignored, feeling used. Could it be that you've become a stress carrier without even being aware of it? You walk into a room, an office, a church, wherever you go, to meetings, and you just bring stress with you. Pretty soon the whole room is stressed.
Maybe you've been losing Jesus in the process, or losing your love, or your joy, or your peace. Maybe you're losing someone you care about because you are running so hard. If you're pushing so hard that you can't feel the pain around you, you're pushing too hard. It's time to hit the brakes, pull over for a time of evaluation, and get in touch with your key relationships, starting with Jesus.
The price of a runner's high is too high for you to pay.