Friday, September 10, 2010
1 Corinthians 9:24 (Running the Race)
Welcome God today with this LIFE Group Devotion (archive, Facebook).
"Run so as to win." 1 Cor 9:24 (full readings)
Steve's Thoughts: My thoughts today are consumed with two thoughts. First, my wife Tina will be celebrating her birthday today and I can't imagine life without her. I love you, Tina and I am forever grateful for you. As a fifteen year old kid, I met the two loves of my life on the same weekend - Jesus and my wife - not a bad weekend! The second thought turns to our Life Runners (Pat pictured above) who will be running this coming Sunday, "so as to win," a greater race - the end to abortion. To run a marathon is no small feat and to take on that sacrifice for the unborn is commendable. As I contemplate our verse several things come to mind from my own experience of training and running a marathon.
* Commitment - To train for 18 weeks in itself is a commitment, but to think that you have to train to even be able to start training for a marathon is an eye opener! It really is a year round journey much like our faith.
* Determination - Carving out the time for midweek long runs (sometimes in excess of 10 miles) and THE long run on the weekends (12 - 20 miles) takes loads of determination. The same is true for our training in the faith to find time for prayer and study to grow our minds and hearts towards our Lords.
* Perseverance - You aren't a distance runner until you've experienced an injury. The first battle is getting to the start line of the race. Most runners walk up to that line with some sort of injury from the rigors of their training. Like our own humanity we are all wounded and will not finish this race of life unscathed.
* Long-suffering - "Hitting the wall" is an experience like no other. Most runners hit this "wall" between miles 20 - 23. This is where all the bodies glycogen stores have become completely depleted. Every step is an act of the will. They say the first 10 miles is your training, the next 10 miles is your mind, and the final 6.2 miles is your heart. Much like the race of life, we will all run out of gas at some point and need an "aid station" (i.e. retreat, sacraments, prayer) to see us through to the end. Distance runners quickly learn how to pace themselves and utilize the aid stations along the way.
This is where the rubber hits the road and our scripture comes alive. If we don't "pace" ourselves in the race of life and "run so as to win," then we will "hit the wall" at some point. What are your "aid stations"? Is it making a yearly retreat? Is it regularly attending Mass or a church service to be fed by the word and the Eucharist? Is it daily prayer time with our Lord? Is it fellowship with other believers who encourage us along the way, much like the many spectators along the road of the marathon?
Faith Challenge: Today write down your "aid stations" and put them in a visible place in your home or office as a daily reminder of those things that will keep you going in the marathon of life.
Sr. Francelle's Devotion: Happiness "Make a habit of thanking God always, even for the bad things because God can bring good out of bad."
Counter-Culture News: LSN, Vatican, AFA, Priests for Life.
Our Prayers: Prayer to end abortion. Peters family (JP), Rich Reich (cousin Tom cancer), Pope Benedict ("That by opening our hearts to love we may put an end to wars."), Pat Castle (LIFE Runners mission on 12 Sep, Grandpa's 90th bday party on 11 Sep)
* NEW: Steve Castle (Thanksgiving for my wife, Tina, on her bday), Rich Reich (Pastor Pat Coy heart recovery, Uncle Javier's health)
Feast Day: St. Thomas of Villanova "The absent-minded professor is a stock comic figure. This absent-minded professor earned even more derisive laughs with his determined shabbiness and his willingness to let the poor who flocked to his door take advantage of him." (from http://www.americancatholic.org/)
Faith Quote: "God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing." - C.S. Lewis
Through Christ our Lord,