It happened slowly…

It happened slowly. First it was just a taste… a sliver, then what started out as a bite became several mouthfuls. That’s what happened during the days between Christmas and New Year Day. Not only did I eat things I vowed not to eat, but I didn’t work out like I should have. I fell behind on my exercises and I gained some weight.

Now I am trying hard to get back to the point of where I was before Christmas.

As I was running today, I realized that what I was doing should have been done all along, and not because the “big run” is in two weeks.

I should have been well prepared so that I could run a half marathon tomorrow; instead, I was eating like a glutton and wallowing around like a sloth. I think the same thing can happen with our spiritual life.

In Matthew 24:38-39 and 44, it says, “In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes… You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected” (NLT).

I am scrambling right now to increase my endurance because of my upcoming run, and in the same way if people knew when Jesus was coming back, I think more people would be scrambling to read the Bible and to study His Word.

“All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step… I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should…” (1 Cor 9:25-27).

Running is hard, and studying the Bible can be hard too but we should discipline ourselves to do this. I need to be physically fit now so that I can run a race today; and I need to be spiritually fit today so that I can be ready for Christ’s return.

I need to train myself to read God’s Word the same way I am training myself for a run—with intentionality and determination.

Copyright © 2014 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Be prepared

I ran the farthest today than I had ever ran before—8.25 miles. This was not an easy feat for me— I remember when I could barely run a mile. My training had not been very consistent in the past.  I would run for a while and make some progress, but then I would slowly stop running.

It made me think about my Christian walk. I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 19-years-old. Even though I had some periods of growth, I also had years of stagnation. Even though I had recommitted my life several years after professing Jesus, I went back to reading the Bible sporadically, praying occasionally, and going to church only on Sunday mornings.

It took a scary dream for me to realize that all those things (church services, regular Bible reading, and daily prayer) are a form of training for Christians. I need to read the Bible, pray, and go to church services on Sunday and Wednesday nights because they will help me to prepare for spiritual attacks.

The apostle Paul stresses to us, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm” (Ephesians 6:11-13, NLT).

Just like I have to keep up with my running in order to prepare for another race, I have to keep up with the things that make me a stronger Christian so that I can be spiritually prepared for any possible attacks. What about you—are you prepared?

 

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti