Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Training on the Vine

One of my cucumber vines is lazy. Vines all around it are holding tight to the trellis, staying on course, productive, beautiful and strong. No matter how many times I have folded Miss Lazy into the trellis, she zings out into chaotic directions refusing to be trained. As a result, she has accomplished nothing, become colorless and weak and now is dying in the pile of weeds.

Laziness is the easy way. Training is the hard way. Easy does not mean good. Hard does not mean bad. Strength, endurance and wisdom come from consistent training. If we want a productive relationship with Father, we must train. If we want an abundant life, we must train. I'm not talking about a grudging, resigned "Man, I'm trying to deny myself daily, take up this heavy cross I bear and follow God's laws the best I can, but woe-is-me" kind of life.

I'm talking about having a passionate faith and noble purpose that wakes you up with energy and creative thought; running the race because your passion sets your footsteps on fire and spurs you on; freed by grace, motivated by love and living a life that is full of adventure and made glorious by the God who sees and the God who is able.

"God's training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself." -Oswald Chambers

I'm standing still at the dawn of a new day. I can choose to mosey through daily tasks, mope about all there is to do, groan over my lack of accomplishment or I can choose to run the race, to train and grow step by step, to receive coaching when I need it and give my all toward the goal of winning the prize set before me.

It's not so much about what happens to you in life, but how you take it that's important. God is watching to see whether we allow the problems to defeat us or whether we will go through them in His strength, being made stronger for the next problem, diligently trained for the final end battle. Everything in life is training for the work we will do next. If that is true, then whatever happens is not a big setback or an interruption, but a stepping stone to even higher service and more glorious adventures of faith.

Be strong and take heart. You have been loved with an everlasting love. Serve God's purpose. Run with disciplined passion. He will take you by the hand, guide you with counsel and afterward take you into glory.

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