In Training

In a race all the racers run - Runner

By Jen Wallace

For the past year, I have been working towards getting my black belt in judo; I am not quite there. I have had my brown belt for 14 years and I thought it was time.  I needed to start training with a black belt goal as my focus.  I have to schedule my practicing and I cannot do it alone.  My head sensei, the club instructor, also needs to see that I am ready. One of our instructors quotes Bobby Robson, an athlete who said, “Practice makes permanent.” 

Being in training is not easy and neither is good practice.  There are other things that vie for my attention, some worthwhile and some worthless.  There are obstacles and even my own lack of desire at times affects my training.  I also need to practice the right techniques and not ingrain the wrong ones. I have to keep my goal in sight.  It helps that I have verbalized it to people and that I have now also put it in writing.

But more important than my training for a black belt is the training that I was designed for: the training that we all were designed for.

We are more than our bodies that enable us to do amazing things. And we are more than our bodies’ failings too.  We are more than our minds that enable us to solve difficult problems.  And we are more than our forgetfulness and inadequacies.  We are more than our emotions that enable us to feel compassion and empathy. And we are more than our selfishness and pride.

We are more. We are created in His Image and His creation is not done. Daily, we are being created in His Image, to be more like Him. We are designed for His Glory.

Lately, I have had friends and family in the hospital who have been facing many difficulties, all of which have included pain and some have been near death.  In the pain and suffering, they are still more.  Despite the indignities that these ailments have caused and the stripping of so many good things, our loved ones are still more.  They are still designed for more.  And more is just who they are.  They are His.  They are enduring. They are praying. They are pressing on.

Sometimes when I am doing my day-to-day activities, a praise song will come to me.  It is so refreshing and unexpected—like a much needed gift from heaven. I am so grateful when I feel like humming or singing when loading the dishwasher.  It is so much better than focusing on what I have to scrape into the garbage can. I don’t want to be scraping; I want to be praising.

In my son’s bedroom painted on the wall are the words, “Everlasting Praise.”  I painted the words there when it was going to be a nursery for our first born.  Our first born is doing just that—living an existence of pure everlasting praise.  Our lives are meant for everlasting praise.  We are in training.  What we watch, read, say, do—all affect our training.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to take the prize. Everyone who competes in the games trains with strict discipline. They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)

“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”(1 Timothy 4:6-7).

“We’re getting ready…we’re getting ready…We’re getting ready for Glory!” Carolyn Arends

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