Sports with hand-eye-coordination has never really been a possibility or an interest for me, but I ran cross country through almost all my middle school and high school career. Some people scoff when that is my answer to whether I played sports, but there is a great deal of effort that goes into such an art as running. If your intents are sincere and long-term, you start at the gym to build the toned muscles that are needed. You need to run five to six days per week with some very high mileage on some days. You need to psyche yourself out to get in the mindset and then be very focused through the race. Then you go right back to being dedicated to training throughout the season so you do not lose what you have fought for so hard. You must have increasing discipline to not be in constant struggle and losing your own gain. You have a goal in mind for a race or general training and that is your entire aim.
In 1st Corinthians 9, Paul pours out his heart about the great desire and even compulsion he feels to preach the gospel. Everything in him urges his life to be about serving others through the gospel. Chapter 9 and verses 26 and 27 say, “therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim…but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” We are unquestionably expected by God to be servants, which is kind of like the race for which we’ve been training. But imagine you are a bucket and you only pour out what you have; you would go dry soon, no? Paul says that he actively disciplines himself so that after he has poured himself out into others, he is not left empty. We, too, need to train ourselves for the season of running to still be healthy and have endurance even after the race is over. Therefore, intentionally be renewed and transformed daily in Christ.