Training verses Trying

“Good news! We’re from the United States Olympic Committee. We have been looking for someone to run the marathon in the next Olympics. We have statistics on every person in the entire nation on computer. We have checked everybody’s record — their performance in the president’s physical fitness test in grade school, body type, bone structure, right down to their current percentage of body fat. We have determined that out of two hundred million people, you are the one person in America with a chance to bring home the gold medal in the marathon. So you are on the squad. You will run the race. This is the chance of a lifetime.” (John Ortberg – “The Life You’ve Always Wanted)

I thought that was a perfect introduction to a summer dedicated to the “Practices for the Way.” That’s the title of our summer sermon series. What would your response be if someone official came to your door and shared the information I just quoted? Would you be excited? Would you have lots of questions? Would you do everything you could to get out of it? Would you be ready? I know the answer to that Question. You would not be ready even if you were willing to “try.” Because trying would not be good enough. You would have to train!

The theme verse for this summer is “Train yourself to be godly.” (1 Timothy 4:7) The Bible has such amazing things to say about us because of our faith in Christ. We are adopted, forgiven, accepted and affirmed as children of God. But there is much more to it with a marvelous purpose to serve God, to love people and to grow closer to Him until we step into heaven. Will this happen automatically? Of course not. We are also called to train for it with the help of the Holy Spirit filling us up more and more. Do you want that? Each Sunday will be dedicated to highlighting a practice that takes effort with the emphasis of training to be godly. What practice(s) has God used in your life to deepen your connection to Him?

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