Monday, February 04, 2013
This was for 1 February......sorry, now they're out of sequence!!
Athlete parallels, part 5 of 5
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown… 1 Corinthians 9:25
The most important part of being a runner…is actually running! Sometimes I run for enjoyment and pay little attention to pace or time. But when I am training with a goal in mind – to run well for a particular race – the running workouts are purposeful, but also vary depending on their individual aim. I have slow runs that train me to run long distances, there are speed workouts to push me, hills (both up and down) that stress my body differently, and I have runs at my anticipated race pace to practice how I will feel on race day.
Physical bodies tend to plateau when they aren’t challenged, but the same is true for us spiritually when we get comfortable where we are. When we are comfortable, we don’t grow and mature…maybe that’s why God allows so many challenges in life…
James addresses this aspect of life:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
And the author of Hebrews shows us how perseverance plays a part in us completing our mission…just like Jesus did and then received his reward from God the Father:
…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
Seasons of life may have different paces and challenges, but we must continue the race God has set out for us. The runner doesn’t get to select where the race course will take him; that is pre-planned by the Race Director. Christ is our example of one who ran the course the Father gave him, and God has promised us a reward in addition to our salvation:
25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly… 1 Corinthians 9:25-26