I like analogies. In fact you might go to say that I LOVE analogies. I talk in them, I think in them, I dream in them (not sure how that works, maybe like a . . . . never mind) Ask anybody here, If i am sharing during formation, I usually begin to speak in an analogy. It is just how I am. SO, literally as I was sitting down to write this blog, I was wondering what I could write that has been new since . . . last Wednesday (?) . . . not much time, I know. And in fact there really hasn’t been much new . . . that’s a lie because God pretty much dumps new things into our laps everyday. But I meant something new that might be interesting to you(I hope your following me).
SOOOO . . . that brings us up-to-date to the part in which I finally begin to write . . . what was I talking about?. . . Oh yes, analogies. I sat down and a wonderful analogy just popped into my head:
There are several of us who are beginning to train for a marathon. It is in Nashville and doesn’t actually happen until April. BUT, marathons are 26.2 miles and need a bit of building up to. I created a schedule for some of us to follow which is a lot more complicated that people would assume. No, we don’t just continue to build up mile after mile until you can run 26. If you do this then you will end up just doing a bunch of long runs that will just tire you out and you will be come bored and very weak. And No, you don’t even just do random stuff so you can give yourself a bit of rest (although, this is important). There are a couple more things that have to be added.
A good schedule puts a combination of days for rest, slow days (take as much time as you want to finish a set distance), some fast days (running fast paces for a certain time), some cross-training days (some exercise different than running), and of course the long dreaded days that are just there to put in the miles. Yes, my schedule is probably not perfect but I am as close as I am ever gonna get so don’t criticize)
ANYWAYS, so here was what I was thinking. The key to training for a marathon is to keep it up and down. To build up to to a certain point and then fall back down to a level where you can begin building up even higher. And you continue to do this over and over again until you get to a point when you just rest for the race.
So, I was thinking how much alike this is to my faith. Faith never really builds up continuously. If you do, I think it begins to become very stretched and tiring and then you become very weak and are unable to finish the race to the kingdom. You need to begin by building up your faith but allowing for days that you can fall back and begin to build up again. NOT, that you just allow days in which you can do whatever you want; but, that you recognize there will be days that are going to be weaker than others and that you will return to an easy pace instead trying keep going and setting yourself up for a weight of guilt and shame that is almost impossible to lift off for days. . .
Also, It is incredibly important to recognize that if I was a beginner in marathons (which I am) I cannot expect to just run outside and do it. I have to build it. Same thing with faith. I see some amazing people who are strong and wonderful in their faith, BUT, I cannot expect to just go outside and become that. It takes a massive amount of practice and training. Start small.
Another I could point out is that idea of keeping you mind on the goal. I have a goal to run a marathon in less than 6 months. If I did not do that, if I did not think of that and constantly expect it, I would find myself start to struggle within just a couple weeks. I would have no idea why I was running and I would get bored very easily. If I lose focus on the end goal, there is NO point in me running. Thus, I HAVE to keep my eyes looking forward to the end result. An end that is a result of much pain, lots of sweat, and lots of boring runs. Likewise, if I am not looking to heaven. . . what the HECK am I DOING!!!! I am doing NOTHING. There is no point in all of my prayers, all of my tears, all of the grime that is being painfully wiped away. Only by looking to the kingdom of heaven will I not only be able to make this journey worthwhile, BUT I will actually MAKE IT. Without that, it is just words, tears, and pain.
So I like analogies. And because I like analogies, I am going to REALLY like these next 6 months. I will not only be going through a spiritual schedule, but I will also be able to directly relate it to my physical schedule. I can literally look at a weak period that I have and just begin to look for the build up again to that awesome and eternal goal of HEAVEN!!!!! HIYAAAAA!!!!
Hey! as a side note, wouldn’t it be awesome if other people joined us on this? SO, if you wanna, begin training for this marathon which is April 24th. Can’t wait to see yu out there!! I will tell you how it is going!