By Michael Hill
“Do not have other gods besides me.”
I fell in love with my wife in 1993. In 1999, I fell in love with our first child, Jaycee. Then, in 2002, a new love entered my life when I was tricked into running a marathon. And I have been addicted to long-distance running ever since. I have completed the Oklahoma City Marathon and the Gardens of the Gods 10-Miler. What is significant about this addiction is that I had absolutely no running history before 2002. In college I was an All-Conference, 305-pound offensive lineman. I once told a running back that if he ran more than 40 yards, he better have some sort of moves because I was done blocking after 40 yards. But, oddly, the running addiction has gotten a hold of me.
This year I noticed that it might have gone overboard, though. My left heel hurt so bad that I could barely walk more than a few steps without pain. I tired the “tough guy” approach of just putting my head down and going forward. I was up to running 70 miles a week and was at a weight I had not been at since junior high: 210 pounds. I was getting such a “high” out of seeing how far I could run in a week that I was actually hurting my body more than I was helping it.
This isn’t supposed to happen. It’s not God’s design for any of us to let our priorities get out of whack. For me, I had put running above everything else. I had broken the first commandment by creating another god above the one true God. And the result was absolute misery. Due to my obsession, I had to take time off and let my body recover. I was moody and irritable, but it had been my own doing.
Today, I challenge you to examine your own heart and find out what you are putting above God. Don’t make the same mistake I did and reap tremendous consequences for your idolatry. If there is anything taking priority above Him, confess it and ask Him to help you take it down. Trust me. It’s never worth it.
1. What is truly your god?
2. If it is not God, what is it?
3. What can you do to put God first in your life?
“Lord, help me to focus my life, my thoughts, my actions, my very being on You. Let my life be a living testimony to Your power and love. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that You are more important than anything. You are the all-in-all of my life.”