Not for the Faint of Heart
My college roommate was in ROTC. I was not, however, in the interest of friendship, I agreed to be her PT (physical training) partner. In those immortal words, I thought “how hard can it be?”
I’m here to tell you it was hard. Harder than anything I had ever done. The worst of it was the long distance running. Within what seemed like only a few minutes, I had sharp, needle-like pain shooting up the front of each shin. I thought if I kept running I would push through it, and everything would be fine. The longer I ran, the worst the pain became. I don’t recall the number of sessions I participated in, but it certainly wasn’t many. Looking back, I realize how totally unprepared I was and how related the experience is to our Christian walk.
- I didn’t have the correct equipment. I was a cash-poor, college student. My sneakers were basic, “over the counter” shoes without the necessary support for my feet or body.
- I didn’t prepare. Day one I strapped on my sneakers and hit the road to run the required five miles. I didn’t work up to the distance by running short sprints for some period of time.
- I didn’t seek out others who might help. I didn’t ask for instruction about techniques or other useful information that would make my training easier.
One thing I did have was enthusiasm. I was gung-ho to help my friend, but within a short time my excitement waned, and she had to find another partner. I was relegated to keeping her boots and buttons polished.
Perhaps our Christian life is similar. We accept Christ as our Lord, and we’re excited to bring everyone we know into the Kingdom. Then life happens. Our Bible and prayer life begin to gather dust, and we show up on Sundays for a quick sermon. Or maybe we do read our Bible somewhat regularly and go to church. But maybe our prayers feel like they are hitting the ceiling instead of arriving at the feet of God.
What have I learned?
- Take it one day at a time. Billy Graham didn’t become Billy Graham overnight. Start out slow. Take fifteen minutes, pick up a devotional guide (e.g. Our Daily Bread), read the scripture listed in the book and the associated devotion. Ask God to help you apply the words to your life.
- Get an accountability partner, someone who will guide and support you and give you techniques to developing your relationship with God.
Soon you will discover you are spending more time reading and praying. Even better, you’ll soon anticipate and look forward to your time with God.