I was at lunch this week with a business colleague of mine and we started talking about the people we looked up to and admired in the 2010 Olympic Games. My friend started talking about how amazing each of the athletes are. He talked about how much he loved the stories of overcoming various challenges to succeed. He loved the competition, the heartbreak, and the victory.
Somehow the conversation was drawn back to Ironman and my friend went on to tell me how much of an inspiration I was to him as an everyday athlete. He told me about how lazy he felt thinking about the effort I must expend on a weekly basis. While he will go for a jog once in a while, he admires my passion for working out daily and pushing my body to the limits.
I went on to tell him the only difference between the two of us was just our dedication and training. I told him with the right plan of action and discipline; he could be just as much of an athlete. He just laughed.
This conversation made me think about a friend of my own who I admire on a spiritual level. Much like my business lunch friend felt about my endurance training, my other friend makes me feel like a lazy Christian when I look at all he does and the effort he invests in growing closer to God. While I go for short jogs spiritually, he runs marathons. He is up early in the morning seeking God’s face, he organizes prayer meetings at work, and he is always a solid witness to those around him. While I am not ashamed of my Faith, I lack the fervency and passion that my buddy has. I admire his endurance and passion as a believer.
I woke up in the middle of the night last night thinking about this passion. For some reason God likes to wake me up in the middle of the darkness when I feel somewhat detached from my body in sleep. God whispered to me through the darkness, “It’s time to start training Timothy. The only difference between you and your buddy is the effort you put in. It is time to get strong. I promise it will be worth the reward.” The voice seemed so audible that it sent chills down my spine.
I laid there awake for two hours praying silently that I would have the discipline and passion that it takes to model my life after those I admire spiritually. Most of all, I need to model myself after Jesus’ example of discipleship.
I am striving to begin my training. I may be jogging right now, but at least I’m moving forward. I’d like to thank my friend for the inspiration. I hope others can find the inspiration to do the same.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.