I sat under the shade of a huge pine tree, trying to catch my breath and cool off after a long hard work out. I leaned over to the lady sitting next to me, told her good job, and then asked how often she works out each week. “Every day, I’m training for a triathlon,” she says. Trying to hold off father time as long as I can, I thought I was doing good working out 3-4 days a week. But a triathlon, are you kidding me? A triathlon is a swimming, biking and running combination that makes even a great athlete cringe at the level of difficulty it takes to train and compete in. There are a number of variations, such as a sprint triathlon (1/2 length), an Olympic triathlon (1mile swim, 25 mile bike, and 6mile run), all the way up to an Ironman Triathlon (2.4 swim, 112 bike, 26.2 run) – which is nearly 4x longer than the Olympic version. Wow!
The countless hours of training needed to build up the proper endurance the body will need to compete at such a high level is mind blowing. Discipline is needed in every phase of the journey – not just the physical training, but the food intake, and the sleep and rest for proper recovery. I tip my hat to these courageous individuals, as well as marathon runners and other high level competitors for what they do with their bodies. Most of us will never compete in something like this – and I have no desire to, but we will all compete in the game of life – we are competing for an eternal prize. How is your training going in this area? Are you reading your bible regularly and spending time in prayer? Are you loving, kind and compassionate to all people? God has set before us a great race. If it ended today, would you be winning the race?
1 Corinthians 9:25 ~ All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.
Romans 5:3-4 ~ We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
Hebrews 12:1 ~ Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
“Dear Lord, help us to run the race of life in a way that honors and pleases you. Help us to live and love like you. Give us the strength and endurance we need to overcome all life throws at us. It’s in Jesus name I pray, Amen.”