The National Steps Challenge and other health campaigns have inspired many Singaporeans to start walking and running. One writer shares his personal experience with exercise—and the simple lesson he learns.
I must have been crazy to accept my friends’ invitation to join them for a run. I hadn’t jogged for years, and yet, here I was agreeing to a 5km run along the Geylang Park Connector.
To be honest, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it, but my friends kept persuading me that I needed the exercise. They also promised the joys of their fellowship—as well as the reward of a good dinner at the Old Airport Road Hawker Centre. “You’ll be compensated for the suffering,” they told me.
And so I agreed, telling myself that I could always take the easy way—just walk and let them run ahead of me. My friends encouraged me by saying that was okay, adding: It’s all about the heart.
As I said yes hesitantly, I couldn’t help but think of another old man who went on a longer journey than mine. Yet he never complained; in fact, he packed up everything he had to begin this journey, all on one single invitation with no questions asked (unlike me). Abraham was already 75 years old when God told him: “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1).
I still find this story amazing. Abraham was a very wealthy person, and would likely have been very comfortable where he lived. It must not have been easy to leave his home to head for a faraway land, not even knowing how long the journey would take and what to expect along the way.
Yet Abraham obeyed the call to move. It was not recorded that he argued or found a way out; he simply went forth, trusting in God’s promise to make him a great nation (Genesis 12:2). This faith was credited to him as righteousness (Romans 4:3).
To me, this shows Abraham’s heart. Even though the move would have likely meant a long and difficult journey, and anxiety about the unknown, Abraham chose to trust in God. It’s all about the heart.
Eventually, my friends and I didn’t run all the way; we walked a lot. I think they were slowing down for my sake, but that being said, I was thankful for the beautiful evening, the refreshing breeze, the scenic views along the park connector, and the fellowship of their company.
And, of course, there was the reward of the giant meal we had at Old Airport Road Hawker Centre—Hokkien mee, satay, oyster omelette, grilled chicken wings, rojak, and cheng tng.
It was a feast that gave me great joy—not just because of what we ate, but also because of the friendship and fellowship I enjoyed. Which, I imagine, is something that Abraham must have felt when he journeyed with God, his friend.
Father, may I have a heart that seeks You each day, growing to trust in Your sovereignty and providence as I journey with You in life. Let all that I do and say glorify You in every way.