The Believers Marathon Part 4: Discipline
We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.~Jesse Owens
I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. I Corinthians 9:27
Jesse Owens the great Olympian in the 1936 Olympics, the African American who gave Hitler a headache very much understood discipline. At a time when the African American was thought of as lazy and lacking any physical prowess, Owens blew that misnomer away with his awesome discipline that he displayed during the Olympics. Christine Caine in her book Run to Win uses the above quote by Paul who had to daily discipline himself as he sought after the things of God. He knew that without that discipline, his life would be a mess. Christine brings up five basic disciplines in our Christian Marathon that we should have and they are reading the bible, prayer, waiting on God, praise and worship and having God fill us fresh with the Holy Spirit every day. As we move further into the book, we will address these disciplines. As a runner there are several different disciplines that I will talk about that I have to deal with on a daily basis and correlate them with our Believer’s Marathon.
The first discipline is that of rising early. Sometimes I have to rise early to get a run in before I go to work. To the normal person this is pure insanity, but to me it’s essential to keep my body in shape to run long distances. As you train your body, you are training it to endure hardship for a long haul of a run. Rising early as well gives me the opportunity to spend time with God while I run. I can pray and deal with things going on that may be positive or negative in my life. I always say my best running buddy is Jesus. Rising early and getting going may not be the norm in life, but it gets you going and a leg up on everyone else in the world.
Then next type of discipline is that of eating the correct foods to get maximum output in your run. If you are eating hamburgers day in and day out, you will have a very difficult time in keeping a high pace in your run. A great protein like chicken or fish is a much better choice when you are a runner and good carbs as in vegetables and fruits. The same goes with our Believer’s Marathon; we should be filling our heart with good things, not bad things. Watching crazy movies, TV shows and listening to crazy music can put a damper on our marathon. What we see, hear and do can very much affect our run in life. If you want less drama in your life, you have the power of choice not to have that drama. What we put in our heart will determine our destiny and desires.
The last discipline that I want to discuss is that of the run itself. There are three factors that a runner has to think about and focus on as he or she runs. The first is the gate. How your gate? Are your feet landing correctly? They should always land mid-foot as you run. Toe running and heel running can get you to injury central real quick when you run. How are you landing with God, are you careful where you are running in the marathon of life? The next part of the run we need to worry about is our form. Are we running upright with our stomach pushed in toward our spine and the head up and shoulders relaxed? Or are we bent over at the waist with our head down and loose stomach? What is your form with God; are you upright and living a righteous life? Or just going through the motions? The last part of the run is your breathing. How are you breathing when you run? Are you breathing shallow, or are you using your full lung capacity? In our marathon are we allowing the Holy Spirit to fill us and direct us fully, or are we just doing the bare minimum in our own strength and very weak power? These are questions we should be thinking about and examining in our lives in order to run a disciplined marathon.
Early to rise, get a jump on the day gives us discipline in the day and helps us plan better. What we see do and hear in our lives can help us to find discipline in keeping unhealthy things away from our heart. Finally, the run has three things to remember, gate, form and breathing, if we change anyone of these we can have a very difficult race ahead of us. Discipline is very important to have in our lives, without it we will lack the endurance to run our Believer’s Marathon and stay on course to the awesome future God has planned for us.
© [David Howard], [David's Body Temple], 2011-2015.