Imagine you are sitting in your home one day just kind of daydreaming about being at the elite level of your favorite activity. Maybe you’re daydreaming about being a champion chess player. Or maybe your daydream is about competing in the bobsled at the Olympics. Or maybe you are driving from the pole position in the Indy 500.
In the middle of your daydream, there’s a knock at the door. When you answer the door, the leaders from the arena of your daydream are standing there to let you know you’ve been chosen to compete at the elite level.
How confident do you feel that you will be successful? You’ve played chess, but the board and pieces are in a box collecting dust in the closet. You’ve watched the bobsled in the Olympics and even taken your kids sledding. You’ve driven a car for quite a while and even figured out how to navigate roundabouts without fail. But how confident do you feel that those experiences will lead you to compete at the elite level?
What you probably know is that if you are going to be successful at the elite level, you’re going to have to get a little bit better at whatever it is than you are currently. You’re not going to be able to simply “try harder” your way into the skills and abilities required to be successful. No! To be successful you are going to have to enter into a life of training. You are going to have to develop and implement specific steps and practices to grow and improve – and sometimes you’re going to have to figure out how to keep going.
In part 1 (Train for It) of CCC’s Keep Going series, this idea of training steps and practices was connected to growing to or in relationship with God. There is a huge difference between trying to do something and training to do something. We may think growth is not possible but what is not as it should be can be as it should be.
Take a few minutes to read 1 Timothy 4:1-16 and consider the following questions about training vs. trying.
- What’s something you’ve tried to make different in your life but not succeeded at?
- Why do you think has kept you from succeeding?
- How would you describe being “godly”?
- What does embracing God’s promises and aligning with God’s expectations lead to godliness?
- How would you describe the difference between training and trying harder?
- Why does trying harder eventually prove inadequate for change?
- Why is developing a training plan so important for growth that leads to sustained change?
- In what ways is physical training a benefit in a temporal sense?
- In what ways is training for godliness a benefit extending beyond the temporal of physical training?
- What are some “indispensible” practices that lead to growing in relationship to or with God?
- What are some growth practices that connect with you to grow in relationship to or with God?
- What are some barriers that detour you from growing in relationship to or with God?
- What steps and practices would be most effective in a training plan for you to grow in relationship to or with God?
- What next steps will you take to develop and implement a training plan?
There are areas in life every person would identify that are not as it should be. There are areas in life every person would identify as areas for improvement and growth. There are areas in life every person has tried harder but not achieved the sustained growth and change desired.
We can only accomplish so much by trying harder. If we are going to grow and improve and experience sustained change in what isn’t as it should be (especially in relationship to or with God), surrounding ourselves with steps and practices that lead to growth is a non-negotiable. Simply put, we must train for it.
Today is Monday – make it a day that you develop and implement a training plan to grow in relationship to or with God.