My girls are in volleyball. They do conditioning year around in order to stay in shape enough to play to their best. And I’ve seen what happens to them when they focus on the conditioning and when they don’t.
When one of my daughters was challenged to run for 30 minutes, three times every week, she committed to not missing a single day. Her coach was amazed (and so was I) at the speed and quick reactions she started showing on the court. She became the core player on her team. Not the most talented, but definitely the quickest.
Another daughter had the same type of commitment with the jump-roping element. She has improved her vertical jump considerably. You should see her face when she makes a block!
I’ve also seen these girls struggle when they didn’t do the conditioning. My oldest tried to start a season after doing no preparation whatsoever. The coach started with a mini camp every year, intense work for several hours every morning. She was in a big hurt by day two and by day three, she thought she would die. (No drama queens in this house – lol!)
Thankfully, that was never a problem again. The conditioning required daily attention. They had some sort of aerobic activity along with strength-building. And doing the work – daily – made a difference.
What’s the point? Several of the New Testament books compare our life in Christ with running a race. My favorite one is from Hebrews 12: “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Verse 6)
In 1 Corinthians 9:24: “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.”
Both of these verses detail the need to persist in the faith like a runner persists in the race. I can’t help but think of conditioning especially with the Lord’s urging for a person who wants to be His follower to “deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow.” Luke 9:23
Daily. Everyday, I’m supposed to set my wants aside and refocus on what the Lord wants me to do. Everyday, I’m to reconfirm that He is Master of my life. I’m not. My family isn’t. My priorities, job, cravings, none of those things. He is.
And because He is, my jobs (yes, plural) are directed by Him. My dealings with my family, my priorities, my activities are all under His guidance. And because I allow His direction, I have time for a neighbor, or an online buddy, or a grocery worker.
Daily. Intentional. I am a Christ Follower.
Your Turn: Are you intentional about your relationship with Jesus? How does that look in your life?