Life, Faith & Running
". . . let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
Last week in my post, Life is Like Yasso 800s, I made several comparisons between the hard work of doing speedwork in training for a race and the Christian journey toward strength and confidence of faith. I shared the many ways Yasso 800s helped me to grow stronger mentally, physically, and come to find out, spiritually too. How these lovely repeats pushed my mental and physical limits. They reminded me what strong feels like. Most importantly, Yasso 800s enhanced my soul’s ability to understand that if I want to be strong in my faith, I need to be committed to stepping in to spiritual disciplines and practices that require repetitive endurance--believing that what I put in now will directly correlate with the end results of my life.
During the days that have followed that post, I have been trying to frame in my mind some specific practices of the Christian’s calling that build the muscles of faith, belief and Christlikeness. I am sure that collectively we could make an exhaustive list, but perhaps these 10 are a good place to start.
That is quite the list, right?
Maybe it even looks too hard to try. But no good training plan designed to grow endurance or muscles would be built on backing away from workouts or mileage that is beyond what may look attainable at the start.
When a runner starts into her training plan she knows she will only do a couple of really hard workouts a week. Not all the muscle building or endurance gains are built in a day, a week or even a month. In fact, most plans span 12-18 weeks. And this is for someone who is already running. Many coaches recommend that a new runner spend a year just getting mileage in before committing to a training plan for a marathon.
So to with training for living in Christlikeness. Tackling all the practices that grow strength and endurance in Christlikeness at one time will most likely lead to injury, burn out or defeat. Yet, having no plan will likely land you out of shape and wimpy in faith-strength. Somewhere in the middle of trying to tackle them all and not tackling any lies a plan for gradual and intentional growth. Gradual and intentional being key.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to google, “Christlikeness strength and endurance training plan” and find a slough of plans to choose from? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an app tailored to coach us to grow strong in the Lord and the power of his might (Ephesians 6:10)?
But there isn’t. There are thousands of running and strength training plans out there, but google won’t be too helpful in finding you the plan your soul needs.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. The training plan for your soul’s growth is found in the Bible, through instruction from the Holy Spirit, and among the body of Christ. And here are the coolest parts about it:
By taking the time to make your own list of 10 Practices to Grow Your ChristLikeness Muscles. Yours may look a lot like mine or it might look totally different because the muscles that are weak in my mind, heart and soul may not be the ones that are weak in yours. In addition, God has designed you to grow strong and impact others in different ways than he asks me to. We are all on the same team but we each have unique roles and assignments that require differentiated training.
I challenge you to take some time this week and write out 5-10 practices you will intentionally and repeatedly work on in the coming weeks and months. I pray that your commitment and intentionally will produce obvious growth and strength that propels you to love God and others deeper and that your soul will feel and know the strength of the Lord designed to give you the power to live like Christ.
Her family and friends know her as, Jaci. She is the wife of a pastor, a mom of four, writing and communications education instructor, a visionary and an avid runner. As a firm believer in the power and effectiveness of the body of Christ united together to live out the Great Commission, she holds fast to this verse, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Of equal importance to her are these words, "...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).
Posts in the Run for Your Life, series: