The Athlete's Regime

Over the past year and a half, I’d been really upset with God and although he had not stopped gently urging me about the urgency of His kingdom, I dismissed Him. I am sorry for not putting Him first…and really sorry…when I first realised that I was rebelling against him like that, I felt sad that I had hurt God in this way for so long. I had been faithful, but my heart had been growing distant and hard towards God, and as a result towards the people around me. I’d been asking God for so long, “Restore my soul.” I’d fasted, cried out and nothing. Serving God became a drag with only small moments of appreciation in between. I had begged God “Restore my soul.” had become as bitter as Mara’s.

2 Timothy 2: 3 – 7

Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.  Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

Perhaps, God HAS restored me. Perhaps his restoration is a full-scale restoration, where in this very room  where my love and devotion to the kingdom of God was first shaped, molded..where so many shackles fell off – where so much light was shed. It was the same – I was working in this room, spending all my time here. This time was mixed with much devotion, study of the word. My discipline – my attitude as a soldier was written into the story of my life in this very room. I am back here. “He’s ever living, ever faithful, making me ever grateful. Army life is what I strive for…to be a soldier is what I died to myself for.”

In my plea to God, asking him to ‘restore my soul’, perhaps he has granted my request. I am back in soldier mode, if only yet by circumstances, but today I see the first glimpse of restoration. The crossroads bears a signpost..”if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.”

So, in order to go in some one direction, the rules must be found. And so, this will be the next few posts. I stand here at this junction asking God’s wisdom about the rules the athlete should follow so as to be endowed with the ‘victor’s crown.’ I will reflect in the same way that Paul told Timothy to reflect because “the Lord will give [you] insight into all of this.”

You know, strangely enough, I think this is the first of the ‘rules’ that God is revealing…be honest with him. Tell him – mad, sad, distressed…whatever, just tell him. I’d add in the part about telling someone else also – your confidante…someone trustworthy so that you “Confess your sins to each other so that you may pray for each other and be healed”.


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