Romans 5:3-4 (NKJV) And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Most of you are aware by now, that I rather enjoy bowhunting. Last week I mentioned that I had completed the research and application process of my annual alpine pilgrimage. This past week I have focused on researching my hunting areas, reading articles and preparing for a training regimen.
The past few years I have noticed a significant decrease in my fitness and endurance, making each year on the mountain a little tougher than the last. Elk hunting is hard and being in shape is certainly a boost to the potential for success. I have decided and set myself on a course and plan to get myself in the best shape I can for this year’s hunt.
While reading an article geared toward “mountain readiness”, I came across a quote from a gentleman by the name of Lazarus Lake and in it he said, “if you’re going to face a real challenge, it has to be a REAL challenge. You can’t accomplish anything without the possibility of failure.” These two sentences really struck me. I pondered them, and thought about how that applied to my goals for this fall. For me, part of the appeal of DIY, backcountry elk hunting is the challenge of it all. It’s pursuit of elusive game, in difficult terrain, in uncertain conditions. It tests a person’s metal. It pushes you to physical and mental extremes. By preparing the body to it’s utmost, the mind will be prepared to follow. The harder I work now, the greater the accomplishment will be this fall.
Isn’t that true of so much in life. Personally, I find greater satisfaction in accomplishing something that I truly had to work for. I’ve been blessed, no doubt, but in so many areas, God first required work from me, then blessed my efforts.
How can I apply this to my walk with the Lord. God graciously, no strings attached, offers the gifts of His love, grace and eternal life freely to us. However, how much more will we receive from knowing that we bring all that we can to the relationship? How hard am I really working to “know” Jesus? Do I read my bible and pray as often as I could?How hard am I really working to illustrate to others God’s glory? When faced with obstacles, opportunities to illuminate God’s power through me, do I quit, complain, lash out? What would God create in me, create for me if I pushed myself to my max to be the best me He’d have me be? What would happen? My guess…..’it would be a boost to the potential for success’. So, shouldn’t I be training my heart for God? Doing so, very well may not diminish the amount or severity of obstacles landing in my path. It will, however, better equip me to persevere. “Where the body is capable, so shall the mind go”, right?
Mark 4:17 (NKJV) and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.
Just a seed God planted and I have been strongly listening to. Where can you put in the work and prepare yourself, so that you may endeavor to persevere? May God bless you all.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,