By: Vivian Wilson
I decided to do something last week that fits in the category of “Has she lost her mind?” (I know. Some of you don’t even question the answer to that any more.)
Anyway, I signed up for “speed training”. We will meet every Wednesday at 6:30 P.M., at the Clements High School track. At the initial session, there were about 20 of us, ranging from age 6 (yes 6!) to age 65 (guess who?).
After stretching, jogging two laps around the track for warm-up, and four sprints, we were ready for the time trials. We ran a lap (1/4 mile) four times at 85% effort with a two and a half minute rest between each, finishing the fourth lap “all out”. The goal was to be within five seconds of each 1/4 mile time. This is tricky. If you run too fast on the first lap or two, the last lap or two will be too slow and out of the five second range. Too slow at first will result in missing the mark also.
I signed up for this training because I have a goal to finish the 2015 Houston Marathon in under 6 hours. (Sorry, I can’t help it–another marathon training reference). I realized halfway through the training that to accomplish my goal I will have to get faster. So, here I am running with 6 year olds because, if followed, this program is proven to produce positive results.
I confess, when Coach Andy explained what we would be doing in the next hour, fear and doubt crept into my mind and settled there. I really didn’t believe I could finish the entire two warm-up laps without walking part of it. And I was sure I couldn’t run at an 85% pace for an entire lap once, much less four times.
I tell you this story because there is a lesson here for all of us. It has to do with Potential. Potential is that which is possible to become and is relevant in every area of every life. An admirable goal for all of us who are Christians, is to reach our full potential becoming all that we are created to be.
So how do we do this? First we recognize that we don’t even know what our full potential is, but I know that I haven’t reached it yet. Then we need to make a decision: do I want to pursue a greater height, or am I satisfied with the status quo, or simply drifting through life?
Drifting requires little effort, while reaching for new heights requires work and perseverance. Do the work. It is essential and intentional. Just wanting and hoping to be the best isn’t enough and it is ineffective. We must discover the tools that will help us reach our goal and implement them.
As in any worth while effort, there will be obstacles and times of discouragement. We will get tired and some times there will be pain. But there will also be signs of progress along the way to encourage and strengthen us. We must have a mindset that says, “I will persevere.” “I will focus on my goal.” “There is more in me to be gained than I think.” “I will be satisfied with nothing less than becoming the best I can be.” (I am not talking about striving for perfection, but striving for better).
Some things that I know about myself were confirmed last week. I do better when I am held accountable. And when I am encouraged, coached, or stretched, I am more capable than I think.
I did run two warm-up laps. I did run each quarter mile. And the four times were within the five second range. I did what I didn’t think that I could do. How? The coach set the goals. He believed I could reach them. So I determined to give it my best shot and not quit.
So, I ask myself this question. How good can I be at …….? Am I striving to reach my potential in all areas of my life? Am I growing as a Christian, as a mother, as a grandmother, a daughter, a sister, a friend? Am I growing in my effective study of God’s Word, in my ability to communicate, to love, to forgive, to serve, to trust, to lower my handicap in golf? If I am growing, I am on the road to becoming all that I can be.
I know something else. I must be more intentional about reaching the full potential of my life in many areas. I know that I can’t do it alone. I need to be accountable to others and encouraged and stretched. And I know that God is the One Who made me and Who is making me. And it is He who supplies the strength and grace that I need.
I always want to leave you encouraged. And right now, like me, maybe some of you are feeling a little overwhelmed with the work to do. So let’s start with something fun, something that you enjoy doing. How good can I be at cooking? at golf? at knitting? at painting? at writing? You choose. Make a plan to take a class or practice more.
With more important things, allow God to set your priority. Ask Him to impress on your heart the area that He wants you to move forward in. Take the first step. Make a plan, share with a friend who will pray for you and encourage and stretch you along the way, who will challenge you to reach new milestones.
Above all else, trust the One Who created you to be who you are. Trust the One Who knows you completely and is shaping you into the image of His Son. Trust the One Who is able to accomplish anything according to His will. And enjoy every victory along the journey to becoming all you are created to be!
A work in progress,