From the Desk

As I rounded the last corner, everything hurt. Putting one foot in front of the other was more laborious than it has ever been in my life — but I had to run across the finish line.

Ashley Bollinger and Kevin McAlpin

Last weekend, on my “week off,” I ran the Philadelphia Rock and Roll Marathon — all 13.1 glorious miles of it.

For all of the runners out there, this may not seem like an arduous task, but you need to understand that one, I am not a runner by definition and two, I did not train.

We live in a drive-through society. There is very little left that we actually have to fight to achieve — like running a marathon.

In America, the majority of us will never hunger. We will never know what it is like to have to scrape by not knowing where we will lay our heads at night or where our feet will be forced to take us in the morning.

I went into the 13.1 mile run assuming I could do it with minimal pain — regardless of the fact that I did not train.

As I sat frozen in pain, unable to move, I realized how similar this is to spiritual growth. If you don’t train, you cannot succeed.

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it,” Hebrews 12:11.

The western church today lives as though it is entitled. We gripe and complain when we experience even the slightest bit of discomfort, not understanding what it means to “live as Christ, and die as gain.”

This experience served as my reminder that I am preparing myself now for a race of eternity. How I train today will reflect on my performance tomorrow.

To run the race with endurance we must first train with endurance — point taken.

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