Devotion: Training

I really enjoy riding my bike. There’s nothing like getting out on the open road, marveling at God’s creation, and escaping for a few moments from the craziness of life. Being out on the bike relaxes and refreshes me. It clears my mind and gives me perspective. However, there was a time when I was much more serious about cycling. I competed in various bike races and events, which meant I devoted many hours to training.


  • activity leading to skilled behavior

Early in 2001, I set a goal of completing the MS-150, which is a benefit ride for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. I knew that pedaling 150 miles in two days would require a significant amount of time in the saddle. I’d have to spend months getting my body ready for it. So, I began my training by riding short distances of 15-20 miles, and I gradually built up the endurance to ride 75-80 miles at a time.

There were days during that summer, though, that I became weary and wanted to stop. My body was tired. What kept me from quitting and giving up, though, was the goal before me. I remembered that I wasn’t riding aimlessly. My rides had purpose, and each day of training brought me closer to the MS-150. I pressed on, kept riding, and felt a huge sense of accomplishment when I crossed the finish line and received my medal.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

As Christians, we’re running a race. If we want to finish strong, we have to embrace discipline instead of avoid it. After all, we’re in training. Every day counts. Every day has purpose.

As you consider your goals for next year, think about how you can prepare for what God has for you in 2010. Maybe it’s reading your Bible every day instead of every once in awhile. Perhaps it’s serving in a ministry at church or committing to an extended fast. Whatever it is, ask the Lord to give you the courage to step out in faith, and then trust Him to help you do it.

You may have never thought of yourself as a runner, but you are. The Lord has a race marked out just for you. When life beats you down, persevere. Don’t ever give up. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, and remember why you’re running in the first place. You’re pursuing the prize – to know Christ and to be found in Him. All the aches, pains, and injuries you’ve suffered in training will be forgotten when you cross the finish line, receive your reward from the Lord, and hear Him say, “Well done.”


  1. These are such amazing thoughts–I particularly love your point about each day being a part of the race, a day that counts. I hadn’t thought of it quite that way. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. Christina T says:

    Wow — hadn’t “refreshed” your page for a while, and just now read this entry. It was so timely!! (Isn’t God great like that?!)

  3. Thanks, Christina. Yes, I love how God always gives us what we need at just the right time. And, as long as we’re seeking Him and listening closely, we won’t miss it. 🙂