Blog – April 3, 2012
"You Want Me To Do What?!"Discussion
For those of you who are not already aware, I have been working hard to get back into shape, i.e., physically fit and at the proper weight. However, it seems like just about the time I feel like I am finally getting there, a new challenge surfaces. As a case in point, let me take you back to last November. I finally realized that without the accountability imposed by a training partner and a plan, it was going to be difficult, if not impossible, to meet the conditioning goals that I had established. (There are a lot of life lessons in that sentence.) So I contacted a friend of mine who had similar goals, and we started down that road together.
We hadn’t traveled very far in our journey when my friend suggested that we needed a near-term goal, incorporating a clear vision of something tangible to work towards. After some further discussion at the end of last year, we picked a 5K race for this coming May, and we each started working with a personal trainer to handle the conditioning. As a side note, I have not run ten feet since I was sixteen—let alone 3.1 miles (5K). However, in January, my friend challenged me to run a 10K race at the same event in May, instead of 5K. My response, "You want me to do what?!", eventually led to a new training goal; and now we are training for that race.
"But wait; there’s more!" This past week, my co-workers raised the bar again by challenging me to get involved in training for a half marathon—to which I replied, "You want me to do what?!". I am still not sure about that one, but one thing I am sure of is that having goals, and a vision of something to achieve, is critical if you are to grow and accomplish anything in life. Take Noah, for example. I’m sure that when God spoke to Noah about building an ark, he probably replied "You want me to do what?"; and when God spoke to Moses through the burning bush, calling him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into Canaan, a similar response could be heard. In fact, I bet that’s exactly what Joshua said when God laid out the plan for bringing down the walls of Jericho by simply having the people parade around the city walls and blowing trumpets. Can’t you just hear Joshua saying "You want me to do what?!"?
Living the successful Christian life means taking on those challenges. It means having a vision and a goal that takes our breath away, bolstered by a faith and determination that with Christ we can succeed. Just as God told Noah, Moses, Joshua and so many others in the Bible that He would be with them and grant them success, so does He offer that promise to us.
The Apostle Paul wrote that our Christian life is a race, a race we are to run to win—not just to complete. In 1 Corinthians 9:24, Paul writes, "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."[NIV] And in Philippians 3:14, Paul writes, "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."[NIV]
Coming to my church, Southview Community Church, in April and May are two opportunities to really challenge you: April 28th is our next community-wide Faith In Action day and May 6th is the Ministry Fair, which will be full of new and exciting opportunities to serve. Later in the year will be the Compassion Trip, World Changers, and the Coates Elementary School "Back to School Boutique". Challenge yourself, take on a brand new ministry, get involved in a brand new activity, ask Christ to challenge you to the point where you respond "You want me to do what?!"— then go do it for Him. You won’t be disappointed. On the contrary, you will be amazed at what God can do through you, and you’ll be growing in His Kingdom. How totally awesome is that?!
Perhaps you are reading this today and you are not currently involved anywhere, or you are heavily involved somewhere, but you sense a dryness in your walk and in your ministry. Make today the day that you ask Christ to really challenge you. Ask him to once again restore your excitement and "light the fire in your heart again" about working in the Kingdom. You will never regret it. There’s a lot of race left to run out there, so let’s get ready to run!
April 3, 2012