Adventures in Faith

Time to stop living on old spiritual muscle.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
— Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:24

As a high school three sport athlete and captain, and college wrestler, in my 20's I was in the gym a lot. This muscle foundation lasts to this day; people guess that I work out regularly (I don't).

Me in 1999 after tearing some kid up on the wrestling mat.

Me in 1999 after tearing some kid up on the wrestling mat.

I'm living on past muscle gains.

Those years of conditioning were valuable, but at 36 I can feel my muscle starting to atrophy.  I have to do more to not just maintain my strength, but handle new challenges I face (like child rearing and travel).

For most of December I've been reflecting on my spiritual training and how in various ways, it's not unlike my physical body.

In Silicon Valley, newly married, working for a ministry, for a few years I did spiritual heavy lifting. Bible studies at work, regular fasting and prayer alone on a mountain and corporately. The gains were rapid and opened my eyes to a new capabilities in the faith.

Since then I've let up in my conditioning quite a bit. Sure, the taste for fellowship with God has lured me back for "weekend warrior" workouts, but the hunger to be ready to compete has not been the same.

What does it look like for me in top form? While not a formula, it's typically a regimen of:

  • daily Bible reading on a plan and checking in for context and problem solving
  • prayer throughout the day alone, with family, and close guys
  • fasting one day every week or two
  • retreats to nature to listen for God
  • immersion into Christian community in its many facets
  • quiet time, prayer, and study with my wife

If I have a resolution this year, its to get back into fighting form spiritually. I don't want to live on the big gains I had 3 or 4 years ago, or the little wins I've accrued as a weekend warrior, I want to run this race hard with my face on the ground before Jesus anew.