Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Preparing for the Race


I remember training for my first 10K run. It sounded so daunting, yet exciting at the same time. My husband would tell you that up to that point, I was allergic to exercise and healthy living. I would encourage him and the girls in their athletic adventures but I was not interested in joining them. But when the offer to experience something new came along, I quickly accepted.
By nature, I don’t see myself as a quitter, so I knew I was all-in once I made the commitment. I had to prepare my mind and my body for any race day conditions. It started with my mind. I had to be mentally ready to endure whatever I was faced with on the day of the race. I started this process with setting a goal. Sure, I knew I would finish the race, but that wasn’t enough for me. I set a time for me to cross the finish line. My goal gave me something to work toward. My goal is what motivated me to get out of bed on mornings when I didn’t have anything planned. My goal is what motivated me to finish my practice runs in the rain or in the heat. My goal is what disciplined me enough to resist the temptation of ice cream and other sweet treats.  
Now that my mind was getting in shape, I needed to get my body in shape. My research told me that in order to prepare my body, I needed to vary my running patterns for best results. There were times I needed to sprint for shorter periods of time. There were other times where I needed to run at a manageable speed for an extended period of time. I also needed to vary the levels and run on flat surfaces but also challenge myself with some hills. Each training day was different and in the end the variation made me stronger than I could have imagined.
 
Looking back on this experience, I realize the life lessons learned. In the same way I needed to prepare by mind and body to run a 10K, we all need to prepare our minds and bodies to run this race of life. Prepare your mind by focusing on Christ and all of His goodness. Remind yourself each morning that “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper.” Disappointment. Heartache. Temptation. Fear. These things are certain to come, but stand firm on your faith knowing that you are in the will of God.  Keep your mind and heart focused on Him. This focus will block the enemy and impurities from setting inside of you. A mind stayed on Christ will give you the strength to endure each day.
Life will have ups and downs. There will be some days that are sunny and others that are dreary. There will be days where schedules are jammed packed and other days fit for coasting and relaxation. Faith will be tested. The flesh will become weak. Fear and doubt may try to seep in. But fret not. In Mark 13:13, God tells us “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” That’s why preparation is so important. God is on this life journey with you. He allows growth opportunities to occur in your life so that you are equipped to run the race and finish the course. Don’t let the unfamiliar, challenging, or daunting times in your life prevent you from moving towards your goals. Be steadfast in the preparation process and you are sure to win the race!
Share with us: How did you prepare for the last race or test in your life?

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