Hope fitness?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Doesn’t it seem that sometimes life and its up’s and down’s makes it hard for us to stay in the kind of emotional and spiritual shape that we need to be in? And, like the gifted athlete who is tempted from time to time to coast, so do we?

My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.

Nothing makes an athlete more complete than a training program that includes constant conditioning and the encouragement of his coaches and peers. You may be the best athlete in the world, possessing the size, skills and inborn talents that put you in a class by itself. Nonetheless, if you can’t match your athleticism with a regimen of practice, exercise, conditioning and diet, all the talent in the world won’t make you good at what you do.

Many athletes are gifted people and, unfortunately, it is often a temptation of those thus gifted to coast from time to time. I remember an interview many years ago with Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz. Spitz had won a record number of gold medals in the recent Olympic games and was touring the country speaking. An interviewer asked him if it was good to be home and not having to put so much of himself into his daily routine. Spitz told the reporter that his daily routine had stayed the same. He swam for five to six hours daily, lifted weights following the swim and was watching his diet closely. When asked why he paid so much attention to these things despite the fact he was no longer competing at an Olympic level, Spitz simply replied that the Olympic competition was a showcase for his skills. The local YMCA where he swam was his proving grounds. His hopes for competing in another Olympic games was based on his ability to prove himself daily over the course of those four, long grueling years.

Keeping himself at the top of his game made Mark Spitz the athlete he was. It was the daily conditioning that gave him hope of victory, not the sight of those gold medals hanging on the wall. His daily dedication to staying in shape pushed him forward and gave him a reason to hope that even though he was growing older with every passing day, the goal of Olympic victory was still in sight. His diligence produced an assurance in that hope.

Sometimes life and its up’s and down’s makes it hard for us to stay in the kind of emotional and spiritual shape that we need to be in. And, like the gifted athlete who is tempted from time to time to coast, so do we. When we lose sight of our purpose, it is easy to lose sight of our hope.

Hope keeps the Christian spirit from becoming lazy and drifting without purpose. When we constantly revisit our hope by daily studying God’s Word, living a life of prayer and thanksgiving, and being of loving service to others, we don’t get lazy and we find purpose in life. It takes a diligent course of spiritual conditioning to keep ourselves in the kind of spiritual shape that gives us the spiritual edge we need to keep our lives focused on the reward that is waiting for us, eternal life in heaven. With a goal so glorious we ought never be tempted to coast. Even when life becomes painful and we are tempted to give up, keeping spiritually fit despite the pain will keep us directed to our goal. With such a hope how could any Christian ever become lazy?

We pray. Heavenly Father, with heaven as our goal help us to stay spiritually fit that we might never become lazy Christians or disciples willing to coast when others are working hard. Forgive us when we lose sight of the sweet hope of heaven because we have become so wrapped up in the false hopes of this life. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to ”This Passing Day!”

<markcbrunner@thispassingday.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.

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