Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21, 2012 - Avoid Mental Flabbiness

I spent this past weekend up on a mountain getting some rest. There was no cell coverage, no internet, not even a TV… For some this would drive them crazy. We live in a noisy world.

I really think that fans do an opposing player a favor when they make a bunch of noise during a free throw. The player at the line is probably more comfortable in the noise instead of in the quiet. (Yet the great free throw shooters are those that have a “quiet” routine that takes them into their own world.)

In our spiritual growth we need to find comfort in the “quiet.” We need to learn to “be still and know that He is God.” (Psalm 46:10) That word “still” literally means to cease or relax… This verse is in the context of verses describing roaring waters, quakes, wars, etc. Yet God is called our “refuge” in verse 1.

I read through a book over the weekend (Gordon MacDonald’s Ordering Your Private World) that was my best friend’s favorite book when we were college-age. It is a great reminder of our need to make sure that the inner man is under control in order to avoid the collapse of the outer man.

MacDonald encourages us to learn to use our time wisely; to increase in wisdom and knowledge by making times for the study of God’s Word and other great books; to make sure we carve out time for prayer; etc.

He likened us unto athletes in need of endurance. He told a story of his days in track when he had to face a runner that had beaten him badly on a couple of occasions in the 100 yard dash. Yet the meet he wrote about had them facing off against each other in the first leg of the 1-mile relay (a 440 yard run.)

The young man that had been so dominant in the 100 made the following remark to MacDonald : “MacDonald, may the best man win; I’ll be waiting for you at the finish line.”

MacDonald admits that he was a bit taken off his game by the remark and was feeling like he very well may be fighting for second place in the first leg of the race… Then MacDonald made the following point: “Athletic talent is of little consequence unless it is matched with athletic endurance.”  The young man that was so dominant in the 100 ran out of gas well before reaching the 440 yard mark to hand off the baton… MacDonald went on to say, “The man from Poly Prep was a better runner, but he lost. He lost because 100 yards of talent is not good enough for 440 yards of race.”

I join with Gordon MacDonald in urging us to avoid “mental flabbiness” and encourage us to get spiritually fit this year. It is time to make time for God. Eat of His Word; drink in some good books; make time to spend time with God!

I hope to head up the mountain again soon and continue working on my “quiet” routine.


Jonathan Morrow said...

Love it!

Wayne Abernathy said...

Good instruction. My son runs cross country, and his coach emphasizes that the races are won going uphill and by ending the race having given your all to the end. Reminds me of the scriptural requirement that in this life we are to "improve on our time".