I was able to experience the joy (and pride) of running my first half-marathon over the weekend. For the last 12 weeks or so I’ve been training for this, starting with my longest run being 2.5 miles (which was all I could run at the time). By following a program and being dedicated and diligent about keeping to that program, I was able to get my training to a point where I could run 12 miles in one go prior to the event yesterday. Running in that event would not have been possible without the preparation or the diligence in keeping to the program.
It occurred to me while running that just about everything in life is the same. Any challenge, great or small, is possible to overcome with planning, preparation and the necessary discipline to keep to those plans. Whether it be running a marathon, passing a test or course, getting a degree, making a sale, it really doesn’t matter. With the right amount of preparation it can be done.
With all this in mind, why should our faith be any different? We’re all striving to be a better person and part of that being “a better me” means that spiritually we become more and more like Christ. We are constantly asked to shed our “selves” and take on the face of Jesus, which is certainly a huge challenge. Just like with running, studying or anything else, that challenge can be met with preparation and discipline. In this case, though, it’s preparing our “selves” for Heaven.
Before even getting into what those preparations entail, as it’s multi-faceted and a lifelong process, ask yourself if you’re up to the task. It will require a lifetime of diligence, discipline, sacrifice and everything else “the world” would call uncomfortable. If not, what is the in the way? If you are, let the adventure begin. The actual preparations are different for everyone, as we’re all called to different vocations and we all have our own unique crosses to bear on our own paths to Heaven. Regardless, it’s important to recognize that we ARE on that path and we need to have a plan for how we’ll climb.