Saturday, July 28, 2012

Committed (Nathan Wagner

This is our third installment from WCS coach and teacher, Nathan Wagner, who always hits a home rub with his thoughts! Pray for me- Lord willing, I will be back in Houston in three days...and back in school in four days!

This spring, WCS philosopher Russel Carr taught our adult Bible class on spiritual disciplines.  Coach Carr shared great insights and examples of the difficulties, promises, and blessings that come with living a spritually-disciplined life.  Like Coach Carr, Paul wrote about the same things and made lots of references and comparisons to athletes in training.  In 1 Corinthians 9:24, Paul wrote, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.that we should run the race as though we are training for a prize."

People often make comparisons of running a marathon to the Christian walk.  Paul puts a slightly different twist on it.  He says we are not just training for a race, we are training to win a race.  I'm certainly not an elite athlete by any definition, but it is certainly true that training for a race is much different than trying to win one.  A little over a month ago, I signed up to run the Houston Marathon.  My goal is to run the race fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  That goal changes the way I do a lot of things--what I eat matters (and what I don't eat), how much I sleep, how much I run, and how I run those miles.  I have to be dedicated to the goal, I have to be focused on the goal, and I have to be committed to the goal.  While it's hard to do that day in and day out--and I'll find out in January if it paid off--I find it much easier to do in my running life than in my spiritual life.  My running is physical, with results I see quickly and exertion I feel.

My spiritual life can be more challenging.  Heat dictates when I run; prayer is easy to put off.  My race times are public.  My spiritual life is private.  Purchasing good shoes is motivating for the cost; reading my Bible costs me nothing.  Food makes me feel a certain way--good or bad.  Music, television, and movies can be more insidious, taking longer to compile their negative effects.

So in my journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon, I've also decided to committ myself to my spiritual training as well.  Hopefully by making both goals public, I will have many support me through accountability.  My hope is that I always run the real race in such a way as to win a prize.

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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