Last night we had Thanksgiving dinner at our church. I always use this day as training for the real thing the following week. I know that I have to prepare in order to do my best on Thanksgiving Day.
Seriously, I don’t need a lot of practice in order to be a glutton. Unfortunately, it is a part of my nature.
Have you noticed this? It takes weeks to lose 10 pounds, but you can gain them back over a weekend. The same thing is true for getting into condition.
I remember running and jumping rope for several weeks in order to prepare for basketball season. One weekend of bronchitis could set me back to the start again.
And the same thing is often true in our Christian walk. When I pray regularly, read my Bible daily, worship weekly with my church family and make a concerted effort to love my family and neighbors, I build character. I become more like Christ.
And yet the growth appears to be so slight. I seem to be progressing so slowly.
On the other hand, I can blow it in one quick minute. The loss of temper and a flurry of words, and a witness is destroyed. Dwell too long on temptation, and before you know it you are going down a road that leads to pain and sorrow. And it happens before you know it.
I remember the first time I ever got serious about prayer. I had a roommate in college who closed every evening with 30 minutes of prayer, and I decided I could do the same.
So I lay face down on my bed, and prayed for everybody I knew, as well as every need that came to my mind. I poured out my heart to the Lord, and then I glanced at the clock. I had been praying for all of four minutes. As I have to build my legs and lungs for walking, I also have to build my spiritual muscles. When they have gone unused for a period of time they atrophy.
But they can be built again. God wants us to grow. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
Let us be faithful to pray for each other in this journey, and let us be faithful to grow in grace and love. God will help us along the way. We simply need to trust him.