Getting past the first pushup.

“The hardest pushup is the first one.”

That’s what I’m saying these days. I know that the fifteenth one, or the fifth, can be hard as well. But I am stopped by the first one more often than the fifteenth. These days, in fact, if I make it past the first one, I have little trouble with the twentieth. I  need to get down on the floor and start.

You know this principle is true in many parts of life. Starting, while simple (not complicated), is hard (not easy).

It even shows up in our conversations. We struggle, you and I, with knowing how to talk with God. We have many books, many samples. We can find prayers for every occasion. We know that we have the freedom to make up our own prayers. But still we struggle. And every time someone says, “You just talk to God,” we want to punch them. Because anything someone says “just”, it means that it’s easy for them and it should be obvious to you.

May I make a suggestion? Take a little piece of something that Jesus said and repeat it.

sourdough“Today give us our daily bread.”

I understand that there is more to the prayer he taught his disciples. (I wrote about “thy will” and “daily bread” and “Father“.) But sometimes we need the first pushup. And asking for bread each day may be that first spiritual pushup for you.

Because we need to eat.

Because Jesus gave us permission in this phrase to ask for something practical for ourselves.

Because it helps us practice admitting that we need help for very basic parts of life.

Once you start, you may find yourself talking about all kinds of things. A phrase may turn into a conversation. But we need to start.


Don’t forget to pick up a fist-sized rock.

88 days to August 10.

4 thoughts on “Getting past the first pushup.

  1. Rich Dixon

    This is wonderfully helpful guidance. So much of the conversation is about “keep going” or “finish well,” but those are of no use until we begin.


  2. Gary Mintchell

    Every morning when I face the first mile of my run through the park, I have that experience. Some days it’s tough. Just like some meetings at church where you just have to face the first issue and then get going.


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