What stops you? When are you in the middle of a journey and a bit red stop sign seems to appear out of nowhere, nearly hitting you in the head and screaming, “STOP!”? Think about when you’re working out. What’s your limit? What screams out to you, demanding you stop? If you don’t work out, perhaps you should consider what screams “stop” at you when you momentarily consider getting off the couch or outside your busy routine?
Our limits are relative.
I was at the post office on a particularly cold winter day. I had decided not to walk outside. I didn’t want to bundle up as tightly as an Eskimo so I either couldn’t move or I’d start to sweat under my many layers. I’d get on the elliptical later in the day.
As I was standing at the window, I heard a man’s voice behind me ask, “Did you walk this morning?”
I walk regularly, so many people know me, if not by name, by my routine of walking.
I admitted I had decided it was too cold.
“What?! We’re going to have a lot colder days than this!”
Yes, he was right. Of course, he had walked. He wasn’t bragging. He was encouraging, letting me know I could persevere. The cold didn’t have to stop me. He was right.
This is the man who walks by my house every morning. He only misses a few days a year. He’s quite a bit older than me, and he has significant physical challenges. He often walks with a tall walking stick. His walking gait doesn’t seem comfortable to me, but he’s moving – quite quickly, I might add. He enjoys walking, because he can walk. He knows if he stops, he’s going to lose the already limited range of his ability to walk. He appreciates what he can do, so he doesn’t let what he thinks he can’t do limit him.
I’m motivated – and convicted – every time I see him walking. If he can get outside on a regular basis and push though discomfort, weather and schedule conflicts, I certainly can. He walks because he can. His limits are beyond mine even though I can physically do things he can’t. I think.
Everything I see has its limits, but your commands have none. (Psalm 119:96)
Our Lord is great and very powerful. There is no limit to what he knows. (Psalm 147:5)
What’s your spiritual limit? How are you limited your faith? When does discomfort make you pause or stop? When do you press your hands tightly over your ears to block out the conviction to move, change and grow?
God provides limits for you. He has boundaries for you, because he loves you. He knows you need limits for focus and security. We don’t have to limit ourselves. We only have to listen to God’s limits and live by them. It’s not as easy as it seems. We can refuse to listen. We can think we heard one thing when God is actually saying something else. We can rationalize what we think God is saying to justify what we want.
God is unlimited. We cannot limit him even if we try.
You don’t need to compare yourself to others. Comparisons cause you to either feel inferior because of what others are doing or feel superior because of what others aren’t doing. God doesn’t define you based on who others are. He defines you on who he created you to be.