Pastor Bruce Osborn, Director of Spiritual Development
YMCA at Pabst Farms, Oconomowoc, WI
There is a point in most endurance events when an athlete is faced with the decision to keep going or to stop. The body screams in anguish that the pain is simply too much, but the will of the spirit, if trained properly, counters with the desire to complete the race. And in the mind of the athlete this battle rages. Push on, keep going, you’re almost there, cries the spirit within. Give in, you’re done, you have been defeated, what’s the purpose, demands the body. The athlete who can overcome this battle and keep his or her eye on the prize is one who has built a solid foundation and is trained to go the distance and reach the finish line. Sometimes the battle is won more from a mental perseverance than a physical one, but it takes disciplined training in both areas to complete the course and stand victorious.
There are many parallels to be found between the weekend race and the race of life. For the weekend racer, an individual who trains and prepares for the rigors of the race during the week will be more likely to withstand the discomforts faced in the test of endurance. In life, the one who has prepared his or her spirit for the storms that are sure to come is the one who can ride the waves with confidence, knowing that there is One greater who is in complete control.
Preparation is the key. The athlete can’t expect victory without giving time and energy to the preparation. And we soon find that without a solid foundation of faith in an all-powerful God, one that has been built on absolute truth over time, the storms that this life brings will surely spell defeat. On our own we simply can’t withstand the winds of adversity, the attacks of our enemy. He whispers,give in, you’re done, you’re defeated, what’s the purpose. But all along, as we keep our eyes on the Author and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus, we hear Him cheering, push on, keep going, you’re almost there. Rely on My strength for your journey.
What is your foundation built on? How much time have you spent today preparing for the battle that will at some point rage within? What will you do when your spirit is tested and the pain seems too strong to continue? Will you give in because your foundation hasn’t been maintained? Or do you have His strength to push through and keep going, the power to reach for that second wind?
“Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25
I pray you are daily preparing your foundation – a foundation built on the rock of Jesus Christ.
Push on, keep going, you’re almost there!