1 Corinthians 9:25 – 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.
I am proud to say that I have lost 4 pounds recently. That is my temporary crown of glory. I know that the scales can move both ways depending on whether I follow my training or whether I indulge in the victory celebration.
Yesterday, I rode my bike with the youth in my church from Fleetwood to Todd. That’s about 10 miles of fairly flat lands. Although it was not what I would call strenuous it was not easy on my 54 year old body. With both a weak bladder and prostate problems it would have been easy to find a reason to quit. But, even though I came in last, I made it. I had so much fun that I want to go back and do it again soon.
But this morning I woke up with a sore toe and surprise, surprise, my butt hurts. I had some cramps last night and went to bed early cause I was tired. That same ride doesn’t seem as appealing today no matter how much fun I had. But as soon as my butt feels up to it I will be back out there.
I need to be out there doing. The only two ways to lose weight is to eat less and move more. I want to lose weight. I want to be comfortable in my clothes. I want to buy my clothes at the store and not the tent company (old joke between my wife and I). I want to go to the doctor and not have them make “that noise” when I stand on the scale. I want to walk into an ice cream shop with my grandson and not have them look at me with dollar signs in their eyes. So I will be out there.
Training is good for the physical body. But training is also good for our spiritual walk with the Lord. We have to stretch ourselves, get out of our comfort zone, learn new routines, practice, practice, practice. We need a good healthy diet of God’s word which is “sweeter than honey” and “satisfies my soul”. We need to talk with the master trainer in prayer. We need to be apart of the group who will hold us accountable and share in the victories and help in the trials.
There will be times in our spiritual training when we don’t want to do anything else. We will get sore and we will hurt.
I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard people tell me that they don’t go to church because they got hurt or because they “had a bad experience”. Although I am sympathetic to them I also want to tell them what my gym teacher used to tell me, “shake it off and get back out there”. We will have hurts in the church because we are all humans who sometimes make poor choices and make bad decisions. But we are also supposed to follow God and not people. I am sorry for you hurt, truly, but get your sore butt back in there and follow God’s training.
Prayer Thought: Dear Lord, You, Almighty God, wrote the play book. You know what it takes to make us strong in your will and your ways. Help us to follow your training and stretch our spiritual muscles. God, I am sorry for the times that I may have hurt my brothers and sisters by careless words or deeds. Help them today to get back into the game. Lord, help us keep our eyes on the prize. In the precious name of Jesus, I pray these things. Amen.
“I attend to my fitness. I go the gym every day and try to maintain my physical fitness; without that, it is tough to take challenges on the chess board.”
“A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh