I remember doing my first “Karoo to Coast” mountain bike race. Not that I wanted to win it. I think it’s mostly about racing against yourself. My intention was just to finish. That year was the worst ever. It rained, no, it was a storm. With sleet. And storm winds. Trees fell over. The race leader’s finish time was an hour and a half more than the previous year’s time.
Prior to the race I didn’t spend more than two hours in the saddle at a time. Fortunately, I was spinning fit. But that didn’t help much with the seven to eight hours that I had to spend in the saddle. Everything was numb after a while.
I spluttered up every hill – not that that is a cycling term, but that’s what it felt like to me. Downhill, I was fearless. I navigated the mud puddles by lifting my feet and trying not to fall.
I had one mission. I wanted to finish the race. No matter that there was no dry spot on my body. No matter that my fingers and toes ranged from snow white to blue from the cold, I just wanted to finish.
And I did. I was so proud of achieving that.
On the drive back home, I slept almost the whole way. During the moments I was awake I wondered if there was an easier way of completing the race. I realised that more time in the saddle would’ve helped. The more you train, the better prepared you are for anything coming your way. The shorter will be the time in which you finish. The less your body will hurt afterwards.
When you choose a sport, you have to put energy and effort into it to make it worthwhile. You have to be committed. You have to do your part. You must train so that you can succeed easily when you participate in a competition or race.
As children of God, we must tackle the way here on earth with that same kind of commitment. Often, we start new things, like a new sport, enthusiastically, but before we know it, we slow down and eventually throw in the towel.
11And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish.
We often have to face strong winds in the world. Sometimes we’re caught in a storm with rain and hail. Then we have to stand strong. Then we have to continue going forward with the same commitment. We must complete the race. We must put in the same effort to keep going till the end.
And it’s not that easy; we grow tired, we become less diligent, we lose our vision. Life becomes too hard, and we can’t take the pressure.
We must keep ourselves spiritually fit. We must ensure that we train in God’s Word every day. We must feed our spiritual body enough so that we can also complete the race successfully.
Enjoy your training!
Are you making it in the world?
What does your spiritual training programme look like?
How can you spend more time in God’s Word?
Our Father, thank you for Your Word. Thank you that I can train. Please help me do it every day. In Jesus’ Name, amen.