So often life’s difficulties get us down and discourage us. But I wonder…
Would they be easier if we fully realized that today is the training ground for glorious tomorrows? If we could see everything that God sees…if we could see ourselves standing on top of an awesome mountain that stands in our future…would that keep the cliff we’re struggling up right now from discouraging us?
Did the marines who planted that flag on the top of Iwo Jima finally understand why their training had to be so difficult? Do the Olympians that stand atop the medal podium feel that the years of pain and exhaustion and discouraging moments were worth it? What about the Olympians who never made it to the podium? They still got to walk in the Opening Ceremonies. They still get to bring home the glory of being an Olympian. In fact, I’m sure that thousands of those walking in the Opening Ceremonies knew they would not stand on a podium and feel a medal around their neck, yet they considered their training worth it anyway.
What about those who didn’t make it to the Olympics, but who successfully made it to their country’s national competition? What about those who successfully made it to state competitions? Or how about those never went to any competition, yet continue to train, just because they feel better, and it lowers their stress levels?
In sports and in the military, it seems rather obvious that, yes, the prize is worth the sacrifice and struggle of training. It also seems obvious that, the tougher the training is, the greater the prize will be.
So why is it so hard to remember this in the training ground of life? Why do we not always trust our Coach? Why is it difficult to believe that the training He’s putting us through is necessary for the prize?
Perhaps it’s because the prize doesn’t seem as tangible. Perhaps this is a new-to-me level of depth in the verse this blog is named after: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”
Because we need to know the prize we are training for. We need to see and know that it is worth everything our Coach asks us to work through.
Do you know what prize you are training for?