{Preparation | Personal}

“Beginning your day alone with Me is essential preparation for success. A great athlete takes time to prepare himself mentally for the feat ahead of him before he moves a muscle. If you are not adequately equipped for the journey, you will grow weary and lose heart. Relax with Me while I ready you for action.” {Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young}

I read this in my devotional two days after I ran my first half marathon, and I had to laugh. I completely experienced this in the physical sense… I was NOT mentally prepared for this race, and I tried to rely just on pure muscle strength to get me through it, which ended up not working (who knew? haha).

But the same is so true in our relationship with our Father, and the rest of our life. So often we try to “muscle through it”, without preparing for the day or task or battle ahead of us first. The week before my race I failed to get enough sleep and eat the right foods, and that was my first problem. When we’re faced with something tough in life, our first step should be resting with the Lord, but usually our choice of a first step is to get out there and RUN.

Back when I played softball in highschool, I remember my dad telling me over and over and over again that softball (and baseball), is so much more mental than physical skill. And I would see it… when my¬†attitude¬†was strong going into the batters box, and I KNEW I could hit this girl, my batting average soared.

When we spend time resting in God’s Presence, and gaining confidence in our relationship with Him and the power and strength that comes from Him, THEN we are prepared for our second step, which is the training, or the running.

I know from experience that my most miserable runs come when I haven’t mentally prepared for them. I remember running a 7 mile run and having a great time, I felt so good after it… and then two days later I ran just 3 and it was horrible. I struggled through it, had a hard time staying on pace, and from the first quarter mile all I could think about was being done. I was obviously physically able to run 3 miles, but mentally I wasn’t.

I don’t want my life to be like that 3-miler, when it could so easily be different. And it can change from day to day if we aren’t focused on the Lord.

Focus on the Lord! Let everything else become blurry as you prepare for the tasks that God has ahead of you. Don’t give up.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entagles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” {Hebrews 12:1}

“For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” {1 Timothy 4:8}