Friday, November 16, 2012

Training For Excellence-Dedicated To The Cause by Martin Wiles

Series: Training For Excellence

She started in middle school and continued through high school-even when she couldn’t breathe.

My daughter loved all sports but was only involved in two-cross country and track. As soon as school was over, the team assembled for stretches before beginning their daily 5K or 3.1 mile run. She loved the “highs” and anticipated the competitions. I don’t recall her ever winning a meet, but she diligently prepared and usually finished near the top.

In high school, things changed. Asthma episodes suddenly pounced after she ran only a short distance. Her running days appeared over, but she persevered through practices and meets. Many were the instances when teammates carried her to the sidelines or brought her home because she couldn’t breathe, but she kept going.

Dedication is parcel to athletic training. Paul used the foot race metaphor to describe his dedication to Christ’s cause. 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 (I Corinthians 9:25 NLT).

Researcher George Barna said “Most Christians mirror cultural goals, desiring happiness, comfort, security, belonging, and popularity. Surprisingly few are focused on completely cooperating with God to experience the kind of whole-life transformation described in the Bible.” Survey results revealed fewer than one in five claimed total commitment to personal spiritual development.

Dedication to the cause involves continually focusing on God’s goal for us individually, sidelining anything that deters us in our endeavor to reach it, persistently pursuing spiritual training so we can fight off temptation, and hanging around with those who encourage us in our journey toward spiritual excellence. Don’t be one of the one in five. God will give you the breathe you need.

Prayer: Almighty Father, strengthen and encourage us in our journey toward excellence.
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