French fries, raspberry iced tea, Velveeta cheese dip with Rotel, and sopapillas are not sufficient post-marathon recovery fuel.  A margarita makes it worse – shocking, I know.  I had no excuse, as I’d run several marathons and knew what to eat before and after a race.  I obeyed the rules for pre-race fueling because I didn’t want to mess with one of the relatively controllable variables of race day.  Post-race refueling, however, seemed less important.  The race was over, I felt terrific at the finish line, and my invincible self had a lot to do.  Get it done, I did – just in time to make it to a party, the scene of the sopapillas and margarita that knocked me off my feet and left me severely dehydrated.  I was a poster child for post-marathon recovery of the worst kind.  I failed to acknowledge every finish is a new start and a full tank will only take you to a place where you need to refuel.

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16-17

We all know you get out what you put in, and the days I fail to take in God’s Word are littered with anxiety, distractions, and poor choices.  I’ve conditioned myself to believe a good day can’t start without coffee, and I’ve learned it shouldn’t start without God’s counsel.  You can’t have too much of a good thing, but it doesn’t take much to kick off your day the right way – ask that your to-do list reflect what God intends for you, request an open heart ready to hear Him, or simply read a scripture verse.  Making it habit is the best defense for getting caught on empty and knocked off your feet.  A friend gave me a book for Christmas with daily readings from both the Old and New Testament.  It’s arranged in daily portions so I don’t even have to flip through the Bible.  I stuck to the schedule until … is it already April 13? … well, I was good until March.  No, that’s a lie.  I was good until February.  Since then, I’ve been sporadic; certainly not habitual.  I suppose I feel self-sufficient and invincible the days I skip, choosing to complete other tasks that seem more pressing.  However, while God takes great interest in all we do, He’s particularly interested in how we handle sticky situations, and we can’t rise above the muck unless our tanks are consistently full of good stuff.  One summer during college, I had the opportunity to live with my grandparents in Washington.  My grandmother started every day reading her Bible on the couch.  She went directly from her room to that couch.  Every morning.  Her genuine love for others and relentless service to all were direct outputs of the quality fuel that consistently filled her heart.  While I’m certain I could have used a healthy serving of God’s Word that summer, she never said so.  She simply lived by grand example, sufficiently fueled for whatever came her way.  I hope to do the same.

Dear God, please help me seek your Word every day.