Dear New Life Friends,
What goes up must come down…
That’s the word of encouragement my cross country coach used to give us when he announced that it was time for hill workouts.
For what seemed hours (but I’m sure wasn’t) we would pound up and down the latest 70 degree (ok, maybe 60 degree) hill our coach had “just found."
We would sprint up the hill... and jog down the hill. Sprint up the hill… and jog down the hill. Sprint up the hill… and jog down the hill.
I’d love to say we crushed it, but just about the time we thought we were done, we were sent on another series. To say we were wobbly, aching all over and too exhausted to be frustrated at the end of those practices would be an understatement.
We hated those practices and I do mean hated. We groaned and complained and threatened to quit. But we soon learned something about our coach we hadn’t previously recognized: Those practices were his strategy to prepare us for the races.
Every race, our coach would position himself at the bottom of the biggest hill on the course and “encourage" us all the way up the hill. Not wanting to disappoint, we actually picked up the pace and ran up the hill faster than we ran the rest of the race. Several races into the season we realized that we were regularly passing other racers on the hill and it became our strategy.
Hill workouts taught us something about running, ourselves and life:
- When you see a hill, increase speed.
- Hills don’t have to be the hardest part of the race.
- Hills build strength, character, and resolve and…
- What goes up really does come down (even if you have to roll down)!
We are about halfway through our 7 Mile Miracle journey - https://www.newlifeumc.org/7-mile-miracle - and this is no time to let off the pace! If anything, it’s time to increase our speed!
You might say the spiritual disciplines we’ve been practicing such as confession, worship and service are the hard work that prepares us for the rest of life. You might say they build strength, character, and resolve and… You might say they enable us to experience the better God-filled life.
It’s not too late.
If you haven’t been walking each of the miles, you can start now. In fact, once you get going, you might find that you even want to go back and catch up on a few miles.
Whatever the case may be, the hills don’t have to be the hardest part of the race. They can be the practice that makes you better at running the rest of the race.
So... who’s up for a little hill workout?
May you experience deep blessings in Christ,