Devotional

Tracking the Training

Ready 

“…for, the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
-1 Timothy 4:8 

Set 

Many athletes, myself included, keep a journal or log of their workouts. This allows us to set goals and track our times, distances, results, resting heart rate, etc. From this journal, we can see how we’re progressing (or not) and adjust accordingly. It is a valuable tool for training, race preparation, or other goals we’re trying to achieve.

With the start of this new year, I started a new workout log. As I finished my old one, I looked back on the workouts that had been done in 2010. I found myself asking questions like, “Could I have done more in preparation for such and such a race?” or “Could I have committed myself more during the first week of June?” I also thought about the amount of time I’d committed to my workouts and the time I’d invested even in just filling out the log itself. But there was also a bigger question that came to my mind. How much time had I committed to God throughout the year? Had I approached my daily time with Him with as much enthusiasm as I had my physical training?

My body tells me things throughout the year. If it’s telling me I’m working too hard, I listen to it. If my times aren’t where they need to be, I adjust my workouts accordingly. So, why don’t I always do the same with my relationship with God? Why don’t I listen to Him when He’s talking to me? Do I place more emphasis on something that is temporary (i.e. my earthly body) than on my spiritual training? Yes, I start my day reading God’s Word, and I do talk to Him throughout the day, but I don’t always evaluate how I’m doing in my relationship with Him. I don’t always evaluate my spiritual training to the extent I do my physical training.

This year, I will continue to evaluate my workouts in relation to my performance, but I hope to focus on bigger questions like, “Are you giving your best to God?” “Is your relationship growing because of the time you spend with Him?” “How is your spiritual training benefiting your relationship with others?” And at the end of 2011, I pray that the spiritual training log will be filled with many great workouts. 

Go 

1. Has the amount of time you commit to spiritual training been as important as the time you commit to your physical training? If not, how and what can you do to change that?
2. Do you evaluate and reflect on your spiritual training and how it affects your life and the lives of others? 

Workout 

Matthew 7:23-25 (NIV)
1 Timothy 4:7-9 (NIV)