This post originally appeared on Faith Radio Network.
Touching the wall of the pool with the tips of her fingers, the swimmer lifted up her head. She pulled her goggles off of her eyes, inhaled and exhaled at a frantic pace. With a quick look over her shoulder at the scoreboard, she saw her time. In looking at her reaction from the sidelines, it was a good swim because there was a smile that stretched from ear to ear which exemplified joy. As she climbed out of the pool her facial gestures portrayed relief, and even a sense of pain as the lactic acid drenched every muscle fiber in her body.
The hours upon hours of vigorous training in the water, relentless dry land and conditioning routines, drives to the swimming pool before and after school, weight training and daily lifestyle disciplines paid off. The blessing was a promotion; she qualified for a national meet.
The lesson learned? That going to practice, even on the days when she didn’t feel like it, listening to her coach even when his guidance didn’t make a lot of sense, getting enough sleep and eating well even when she wanted to attend social activates, was worth it.
For us as believers, the same holds true. We might not be a competitive swimmer. In fact we might not even like the water. If this is the case, let me explain…
As the writer of Hebrews acknowledges, we are running the race of faith. (Hebrews 12:1) A race that finds it necessary to stay focused on God, our coach, and to attend to the daily disciplines of dying to self even when we don’t feel like it.
Being in the word every single day allows for us to be reminded of Scripture when we need it the most. Because when we are reading the word on a daily basis, we will inevitably start to remember certain pieces of scripture, and we will learn about God. Being in the word everyday changes our perspective, too. We can go from having a Martha attitude to a Mary attitude in minutes. (Luke 10:38-42) Remaining in the word, even on the hardest days, builds discipline and a consistency necessary to develop our character and leverage our faith. (James 1:2-8)
And just like the swimmer who received a promotion by qualifying for the national meet, at the end of a season of long testing and trusting our coach, Jesus, we will receive new mercies and promises. As we look back on that season of training and trusting, we’ll be thankful that the word was truly a lamp to guide our feet and a light for our path. (Psalm 119:105)
Are you using a daily Bible reading plan? (I’m currently working through The One Year ® Bible.) If so, please leave a comment below letting us know which one, and what you like about it.