Today Let us consider the inspiring people around us so that as we contemplate a new year, we will build our own character and inspire others in the process. Our bodies and our lifestyles must be servants of our purpose and training. What if today is game day?
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. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
I met Juve on the beach a few weeks ago while on vacation. His full name is Juvenal. Juve is the life guard at the resort I was visiting and I was encouraged by watching him from afar. I didn’t need to speak with him to know what kind of character he has. I could see what I needed to know from a distance. And what I saw made me want to meet this fellow…
Can people read your character from afar? What do your actions say about your core? Do you attract people to want to get to know you by your actions? Today let us consider the inspiring people around us so that as we contemplate a new year, we can contemplate how we will build our own character and inspire others in the process.
I am an early bird, and so before the crazy of the day and all the traffic comes to the pool or the beach, you get to see things which are the difference makers. Often the things which we do in off hours are the things which create our readiness for the time when it’s on…
There is a swimming rope with buoys which stretches the length of the beach in an arc. You’ve seen them before. You know what I’m talking about. This one is 1600 metres long, which is approximately one mile. The water is choppy. There are always whitecaps and the wind blows hard up the coast. I saw some kayaks out the previous day and commented that I would not be interested in being out there. My shoulder was sore watching the kayakers.
Watching the ocean this day, all of a sudden I saw a head bob out by the swimming area rope. Then I saw his arm come over. Then the other. It was Juve. Juve swims the perimeter of the roped area every morning. Then he runs back along the beach to the start. One morning I watched him do it with a partner, and as they ran back, they chatted and they were not out of breath. This was their routine. It was their regimen.
noun: regimen; plural noun: regimens
a prescribed course of medical treatment, way of life, or diet for the promotion or restoration of health
What is your regimen in following the Lord? Are you dedicated to growing and exercising in Him so that you can run the race of the faithful life with endurance? Our bodies and our lifestyles must be servants of our purpose and training. Does the observance of our lives reveal the fruit of our early morning exercises?
A friend said to me the other day that some people want to bloom before they grow. Juve sees it another way. His full name is Juvenal, which means youthful in Spanish. He is fully man, perhaps a little younger than me, yet not much. He still maintains his youthfulness, however, because he practices and trains himself day by day. In fact he trains himself again every morning to do his job that day. He is the life-guard responsible for all the swimmers on the beach, and every morning he proves in his training that he is able to execute his duties if the need arises.
When we think about our pursuit of the Lord and view it through the lens of athletic excellence, we see that strict training is required to reach our goals. Our goal, of course, is not a place on a podium or a medal on our neck. Our goal is that eternal crown Paul speaks of in 1Corinthians 9. Therefore, consider how our bodies can be our slaves toward our goals. Consider how we can train ourselves in dedication, mental investment, the exercise of faith muscles, to achieve our goal in what God has for us.
And notice the last thing Paul says: this isn’t about being able to preach at others. It’s not about talking a good game. It’s not even about the good old days when you were involved in amazing things for the Lord or in the church or on a mission. This is about being qualified today…
I would gladly put my life in the hands of a man such character and dedication. Thanks Juve.
Happy New Year.