I’m Fee, and I LOVE an analogy. Those of you who are Greenpark oldies might remember my baptism testimony where I used the analogy of surfing to describe my journey with God. Recently God has been teaching me about endurance, both physically and spiritually. For those that don't know me, I am slightly obsessed with running. I started running in March and could barely run the length of myself, and now I've well and truly caught the bug! I find it hard to have a conversation now without mentioning it (sorry!). God has been so gracious in giving me this outlet, it is not just my therapy, I am also amazed how he uses it to speak to me.
Hebrews 12:1 says “...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with endurance the race marked out for us”
Running a race takes training, you can't be unprepared, do no training, and expect the race to go perfectly. I put a lot of effort into training, I try to eat the right things and I work on my strength and endurance so that I can do the best I can on race day. But am I as prepared for the “race” that God has set out for me? Do I prepare myself enough, read my bible for guidance, and for spiritual food? I’m not sure I put as much effort into my “spiritual training” as I do my running! Studying the bible, praying, listening to talks/sermons, small groups etc are all ways to “train” and increase those muscles of faith! And like training for any sport, only doing one type of training will leave you lacking, it's important to get your training from a wide range of sources.
Easy runs are great, they build your confidence and feel great, but it's the difficult ones that really build your endurance. I have learnt recently that it doesn't matter how well you prepare and how many miles you log, races will not always go well. How true is that of life? You feel like you’ve done all the right things, taken what you thought was the right path and somehow you find yourself lost and wonder how on earth you got there. But God is so gracious, he often uses our struggles even more than our successes. In order to build strength, you're actually causing micro tears in the muscle (sounds pretty painful right?) but your body repairs this and makes it stronger! Sometimes you can feel like you're being torn down, but God will repair you and make you stronger. This healing can take time, be patient, it will build your endurance for future troubles. After all we are frequently reminded in the bible that we will not get an easy ride!
You can't run this race on your own strength, you need your support guy. God gives you the energy you need. He runs with you, and like any good coach, he has the best advice! We also have an amazing reward at the end of this race, better than any fancy medal, t-shirt or free banana! Listening to Andrew Yule's talk a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by the words “if it is not good, it's not the end”. We can take so much comfort in that no matter how hard the race that is life, the end is good! I've heard there's lots of feasting too and who doesn't love a good post-race feast? So whatever your race looks like, train well, rely on your coach, endure the injuries. Remember the finish line and look forward to the post race party!
Thoughts, experiences, and encouragement from the ladies of Falkirk Vineyard.