“The race isn’t given to the swift.” “He that endures until the end the same shall be saved.”
While running a race last year, I noticed octogenarians who were keeping a better pace than I was. Some, even faster than me.Seeing them immediately brought back to mind other past races where mere children were passing me…
Children!! Faster, quicker,sprinting to the finish line. My mind was consumed with how different we all were, but running the same race, each trying to finish the race. How does an 80-yr. old get to the finish line? A pre-teen? Then, there it was, right there in my head; my epiphany, my aha, my lightbulb! As I panned the crowd and examined the sea of people. All of them, different races, ages, weights, heights. All of us running at a different pace, running different styles. Some wogging, a combination of walking and jogging. Some trotting on their toes. Some using the Galloway method, sprint, then walk, sprint, then walk. Still others, pounding the pavement with full impact, but all of us running toward the same finish line. It was right here, where I truly understood endurance.
How is it that all those who make it to the finish line are able to endure every mile? Balance! It’s balance people! There is not one runner who obtains all of their sustenance from carbohydrates only. Furthermore, runners who want to finish their race, are not consuming protein only. These limitations are across the board. I would not be able to finish my race, if I only consumed vitamins, or junk food, or only spinach and kale salads, and the list goes on. To finish the race, the runner must have a balanced diet. Yes, there are vegan runners, vegetarian runners, clean-eating runners, raw-food runners. Whatever their diet, they must incorporate balanced meals and nutrition to reach their best time for each race. Vegans and vegetarians may not consume meats or dairy but they certainly receive the nutrients those foods provide from other sources, ensuring balance. In addition, most runners who are at their best, do not get there by running only when training. Running builds endurance, but so does strength training (i.e., weight lifting and resistance exercises).
Without balance a balance diet, a balanced training regimen, some do not, will not, make it to the finish line. So it is in the realm of the Christian’s faith-walk when there is a lack of balance. How is it, that in the Pentecostal sect of Christian religion we have been taught to consume all things spiritual, Christian, holy, godly and non-secular? How is it that we have been taught this, yet those within the same sect are in full on shock and awe when they see supposedly “good” Christians dropping out of the race? Are they no longer “good” or “saved” because they have dropped out, fallen away? Could it be they are simply fatigued, malnourished and imbalanced Christians?
Can I submit to you that one reason some believers are unable to complete the race is because of their lack of balance! They are dropping out fatigued, tired, and out of breath. They are dropping out frustrated and confused because they do not understand why they are unable to maintain their Christian walk the way it has been presented to them. Unbeknownst to them however, God never intended for his children to live life without balance; to run the race without a balanced diet. While it’s difficult, even sacrilegious for some believers to comprehend, the truth of the matter is that a healthy, well-rounded, balanced, Christian life is in fact possible without sustaining only on all things non-secular. Anything less than a balanced Christian life is well…an unbalanced Christian life! An unbalanced Christian life leads to a believer resenting his own faith-walk. An unbalanced Christian life enslaves the believer to a guilt-ridden life because on their best day, when they are on their best behavior, they are still simply unable to live up to the insanely long list of don’ts set-up by the Christians should only do-live-look-be-go here/not there-committee.
Does God have standards, of course he does! That’s not what’s disputable. What is at question is the man-made boundaries we have placed on the lives of believers, attaching the title of “holiness”, then purporting that strict adherence to said boundaries is a guaranteed avenue to a closer walk with God, more blessings, more anointing, greater favor, higher levels of revelation, a heavenly language, and so on. Can I let you in on a public secret? During my long, churchy, church-girl journey, I have come across many professing believers who run their race by following the man-made rules, adhering to the man-made boundaries, and obeying all of the man-made don’ts. The end result, without going into detail, is not some utopian, Christian life. So, after trying for myself to run that type of race, at this point in my life, I have come to realize, that in order for me to finish my race, in the manner God himself intended for me to finish, I need a balanced diet…a balanced life. Here’s the thing though; what provides balance for me, could be vastly different for you. The pre-teen racer’s diet is going to be different from my own, and my diet will be different from that of the octogenarian. Yet, we are all running the same race, running towards the same finish line. Wanna finish your race with stamina and endurance? Got balance?
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