My friend Jenny is a life coach and she once said how much she disliked the word "try." Because trying was sort of a cop out statement that made it seem like a person was attempting to achieve a result of some sort, but they really weren't putting in a full effort. I appreciated her sharing that but I really didn't dwell on it.
And then this topic came up again in church on Sunday. My pastor, Randy Warner, did a sermon all about Train V. Try. You can listen to it here and I totally recommend you take the time to do so.
So I decided to piggy back of these thoughts a little into my own world of how I'm learning about Training V. Trying.
This is again where my spiritual life and my physical life intertwine, and I love that. I love the examples given in the bible of training, which can apply to various aspects of my life and tie them together.
I am a runner, as you know. As much as I'd like to say I'm just going to go do a half marathon and be able to complete it because I have been doing them for several years now... I cannot. This winter, as I have shared, has taken a bit of a hit in my training. I had every intention of doing a half marathon on March 19. But I know right now that isn't going to happen. While I can likely go out and complete 13.1 miles by that time, my body really isn't up to that task right now because my training has not been up to par. And I would suffer for that.
So I began thinking about an April 9 race. But even that would push me a little bit. I do my long runs on Saturday, so between now and April 9, I would only have the ability to run 4 long runs. Honestly, it's not enough time to build my stamina to where it needs to be for a half marathon to complete it well.
This revelation makes me a little sad. But not without hope. I simply won't give up.
Yes, the winter has had its obstacles. But as my body continues healing, the fighter in me continues to train. I am not going to say "I'm going to try to do a half marathon this spring." The answer in me is: I am going to train for a half marathon this spring. That is why I continuously pick races to do. It gives me a goal towards for which I am training. It gives purpose to my training runs.
I would run regardless just because I enjoy it and what it does for my body. But when I have a race towards which I am working, the purpose in the training runs has a greater meaning. I am training. Not just trying. If I try.... it becomes so easy to give it up. But when I am training, I know there is a prize of sorts for me in the end. (Perhaps the medal like everyone else gets; maybe a PR; perhaps just the satisfaction of knowing I overcame some sort of obstacle.)
The same is true even more for my spiritual life. I can't just say I am going to try to pray more. I have to train myself to do that. I can't just say I am going to try to read my Bible more. I need to train myself to do that. I can't just say I'm going to serve God more. I need to train myself. To make a plan. See how training v. trying applies to all areas? I can't just try to be a better wife, I have to train myself to be so. I can't try to be a better mom. I become a better mom by learning, training, working towards. It's a life time event, this training.
I love how the spiritual and physical line up so often. Pastor Randy used this verse in the message, and again, I am going to piggy back off that a little. I love these verses.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly. I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."
This is Lent Season. As I shared a week ago, that practice is sort of new to me, having grown up in a church that never exercised it. But while my sacrifice feels sort of silly when I talk about it out loud, it is something between me and God that is training me to put my focus on Him and not on myself. I'm learning to embrace how He has made me from the inside out instead of putting down what He has created. I am working towards a crown that will last. Because in the end, these things that we do focus on usually aren't what has eternal value or worth. And day by day He is really working this lesson in to me. Sometimes I mess it up and have to start my training all over again. But it's never square one, even if it feels like it. Because He has already brought me far. I just have to keep going, keep training, keep working towards the finish line. I cannot run aimlessly. Sacrifices get made, but the rewards are great.
Just like I have a race goal toward which I am working (which is in May now... more realistic for my standards and goals) I am working on what He has put in front of me spiritually. As time unfolds, it likely will become a blogging event because I value sharing what God is teaching me. but for now, it's a practice God is working into my daily training and therefore, I am still processing through the lessons He is showing me.
One step, one prayer, one day at a time.