My friend Laura sings to her three boys each night.  Each has his own song, but they all end with, “and you’ve got a fire in your belly.”  She sends them to bed with a strong sense of purpose and a healthy, enthusiastic drive.  Laziness, lukewarm attitudes, and half-hearted efforts don’t fit in.  It brings to mind what a lazy running attitude can breed – “junk miles”.  I’ve read about them and run more than a few.  I log junk when I choose to run knowing it’s not the best thing for my body that day.  Forgoing needed sleep or recovery just to log miles because they’re on my calendar can produce a half-hearted effort.  I’m no expert on the physiology of running, but I know a run should have a purpose … time with a friend, recovery, speed, endurance, improving lactate threshold, or just plain fun.  If you can even believe it, there are runs called “fartleks” where you run at random paces – on purpose!  In my experience, if my body isn’t up for a purpose that day – even if it’s just for fun – it’s better to forgo the miles and rest.  Yes, even rest should be purposeful.  I’m not saying I do it well.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize?  So run that you may obtain it.  1 Corinthians 9:24

 I want to live my life with a fire in my belly – purposefully and enthusiastically, with my eye on God’s prize of eternal life with Him.  If I consider something worth doing, I want to do it to the best of my God-given abilities.  Living with a fire in my belly doesn’t necessarily mean constantly being fired up with action.  Silent thought to discern when, why, and for what God wants me fired up seems important.  I’m slowly learning that rest, enjoyment of being in a moment, or enthusiastically celebrating a less-than-perfect situation is just as purposeful and “winning” as success that can come from hard work.  I don’t want to get too restful, however … action is at the core of living a fired up life, and I’ve unfortunately been lured into laziness too many times.  It doesn’t feel good, and here’s why – “Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord with slackness …” Jeremiah 48:10.  I succumb to laziness with activities I dislike.  Tasks I loathe – pumping gasoline, emptying the dishwasher, and cleaning anything – don’t get done until urgency sets in.  Those things can, however, be done with a fire in my belly if I simply reflect on the immense blessings surrounding them.  I aspire to replace laziness with purposeful reflection and action, and I want to swap my complaints for enthusiasm.  I’m fired up to start!

Dear God, please guide me to use the gifts You’ve given me to the best of my ability and purposefully for Your glory.