During a recent 6-mile run, two great things happened to me.
First, I shaved some time off my run (6 miles in 58:17–9:43 per mile). Running is a sport in which you have to be dedicated to seeing modest gains. I am. Especially for an [almost] old guy.
Second, I had a revelation why I'm liking this thing so much: the thing that defines us as runners, and as people, is not how we accept victory but, rather, how we struggle with challenges. And running is nothing but struggle. Against time. Against other runners. Against ourselves. Against our body. Against our mind and will. Against the elements.
IMO, we were built for struggle. For work. Not comfort. Our bodies continually adapt to change in its environment in order to overcome. And in extreme conditions, it always fights to stay alive (…because it was created to live forever). Comfort is killing our bodies. It manifests itself in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, etc. Those things take away life. Struggle brings life. It seems Paul said something about beating his body in order to make it submit to him…
Spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically it is no different. Growth is struggle. Change is struggle. Testing and trials are struggle. All of which produce maturity, faithfulness, strength, wisdom, courage, faith, flexibility, and trust.
What about the church? Is our comfort killing us? Have we resigned ourselves to comfort? Have we bought (and propagated) the lie that this is a spectator sport?
Yeah, we don't struggle against flesh and blood…..but we do struggle. At least, we'd better.