“This job will be the death of me”, he said as he pulled out of the parking lot at 10:30pm for the third time this week. The race we run with our work is a long one. The way careers are set up we can expect to spend most of our adult lives working. We do this day after day, sometimes closer to seven days a week than we want. We subtract hours from other parts of our lives, like sleep and family time, and add them to our work days. We do this month after month and year after year until one day we hit a wall and say we just can’t take it any longer. It is a long and grueling race and if we were able to step back from it and see the size of the hills in front of us we would probably think differently about how we approach our work. But, trying to gain that perspective is nearly impossible, so we do out best and we slug through day by day, giving it our all, running the race the best we can. We have been exploring what Paul had to say about how to win the race of life and faith and how to finish strong for our Lord. We have applied the principles that he describes about knowing the goal/objective and focus and on how to get to the finish line. He also says in verse 27 of I Corinthians Chapter 9; “I discipline my body like an athlete, training to do what it should”. I like this statement because I believe that much of the success any of us have at anything we strive to achieve comes from the preparation we do before the task. I believe it was Billy Martin, the controversial but heralded coach of the New York Yankees in the 1970’s, who said, “The World Series is won in spring training”. He was saying that the finish line and how the we finish is all in how we prepare, discipline and train ourselves. We can run a strong race at work if we also adopt this attitude and we begin today to train and discipline ourselves for the future and the work ahead of us. We can be stronger and have more endurance if we think of our physical bodies as the tool that allows us to operate day in a day out at our highest productivity. How we eat, sleep and exercise can make a difference. And, how strong we are spiritually before the crisis hits lets us be prepared for the times when we will be tested emotionally and physically. If we begin each day in training, both physically and spiritually, and we stay disciplined to be strong in both areas, we will stand a much better chance of completing the long race, winning along the way, and knowing that when we finish we will have finished well.
Reference: I Corinthians 9:27 (New Living Testament)