In the summer months it seems like there are 5k runs, marathons, and walkathons every weekend. Some are just for fun while others are raising money for worthy causes that can change people’s lives. Seeing all of these races around got me thinking about what it takes to get in shape – both physically and spiritually.
Have you ever prepared to run a race or marathon? People run miles and miles for weeks and weeks in order to prepare for race day. They must build up their stamina and muscles for months to make sure their entire body, as well as their mind, is ready to go. Most people prefer to run with a friend or loved one to keep them motivated and on track. Training can permeate into aspects of your life such as diet, free time, and sleep schedule. What a feat! Running is a great way to stay physically fit, but 1 Corinthians 9:24 compares physical fitness to spiritual fitness: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”
Just as training for a marathon can impact all aspects of people’s lives, so does training for the Kingdom of God. God wants us to obtain all that He has planned for us. He has prepared a great plan and future for us in Heaven and on Earth. Every day we need to be practicing, like a runner preparing for race day, for when God calls us to action. To practice, each day we should follow His Will and take seriously His Commandments because this race has its finish line in Heaven. In what we do and say, how we react and spend our free time, it should all be glorifying to the Lord. Like a running partner, we also need a good community of friends and family alongside us to keep us motivated and on track in our spiritual lives. This is one of the valuable aspects of our Residential Programs at the Mission.
The Programs can be a hard race that is often inundated with hurdles, steep climbs, inclement weather, and unexpected challenges. Often, people need to try more than once to make a lasting change, however, as God mends hearts, men and women begin training for when they will move out and live the new lifestyle in Christ that they have been practicing for months. The beauty of training our faith through the tough spots is that, as we conquer each challenge, we grow stronger and learn how to avoid these pitfalls. We come out of each obstacle with a new perspective of God’s grace and a stronger heart for Him. Please pray for men and women who are staying at the Mission; each of them is making their way through God’s path for their lives. They need your prayers and support as they begin leaving behind the lives the Lord has freed them from and running toward the Lord.