I was thinking this morning about what it would take to participate in a triathlon. It is February 19th now. What would I do now and along the way to get ready for one in May?
The the 'Olympic distance' triathlon is a .93 mile swim followed by 25 miles on a bike then ending with a 6.2 mile long distance run.
There would have to be seriousness to the training. If we were passive then when the day of the race came it would become obvious wouldn't it? There would have to be variation in training also. Swimming on some days... cycling and running on others. What about the transitions from water to bicycle and then from bicycle to running. Then there are the hundreds of people who are also involved. What a difference it must be to swim a mile alone versus in a pack of people with varied degrees of swim training and skill churning up the water and blocking the shore.
What if instead of a triathlon in May it is a trial of some kind. No one wants those. Maybe we would just run the other way. Just plant ourselves on the couch and break out the chips and dip.
Trials are coming... they don't have dates like triathlons do but they will soon be upon us.
Like the triathlon that has three parts I was thinking this morning about three things that are vital in any trial. Prayer, time in the Word and quieting myself.
"Pray without ceasing." - 1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." - Colossians 3:16 ESV
"But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me." - Psalms 131:2 ESV
"For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength" - Isaiah 30:15a KJV
Each of these things has a whole sphere of beauty to explore. Some people run and that is what they do. They would never even sit on a bicycle but they know how to run. Perhaps there are those of us that swim in the Word but can't sit for more than five minutes in prayer. Perhaps it is quietness and confidence that is a the place where we excel but we don't really know how to think because we have not climbed hills and navigated the turns of the scriptures.
Then there are the other people in the race (trial) and the details. If we are wise we train in navigating people who have different aptitudes and varied levels of experience.
The trials are coming. There is no need to fear them. We can train to reign in them and beyond them. We can grow in quietness and confidence in God. We can navigates portions of the Bible that we have never gone to before. We can meditate on, take apart and even memorize scripture. We can strengthen our understanding of grace and commit to memory verses regarding salvation. We can pray... alone and with people... pray for the present and for the future.
Training will change our response on that day when the day comes. We will not be flat footed and unprepared.
Jesus prepared His whole life for one final day. He is more than our coach. He has run this race before and He can guide us and strengthen us for each phase of training and each step in the event.