I am trying something new next weekend. I am attempting my first triathlon. Its actually a tri-sprint, with smaller distances than what you find in an Olympic triathlon. The race I am attempting to complete is the McMinnville Triathalon in McMinnville TN. You can check it out here http://www.team-magic.com/events/mcminnville/index.html
It has been a lot of fun getting ready to do this race. My wife and I have been training to do it together. Neither of us have ever swum much for distance although we were both life-guards during our college years. So being complete dorks, we learned how to swim efficiently by reading the book “Total Immersion” by Terry Laughlin. You can check out his website here: http://www.totalimmersion.net/
It has been amazing to go from barely being able to swim a lap to being able to swim a half mile easily. When I started trying to learn how to swim efficiently I was overwhelmed at how badly I swam. I didn’t think I ever be able to swim the distance we were going to have to swim for our race. Along the way, I learned something really important. If you invest small amounts of time on a regular basis into any activity or discipline, you will see results that you never anticipated. I was so surprised how quickly I developed the skill of swimming by spending a little bit of time practicing something every week. I was a dork about swimming. I brought my book with me to the pool and would pause between laps to evaluate how I was doing in my drills. I asked my wife for coaching and asked her to evaluate my swimming form. Little by little I realized that I was getting better and swimming was getting easier.
A couple of weeks ago I realized to my surprise that I really enjoy swimming. When I am done with my workout, I feel refreshed and rejuvenated instead of tired and sweaty. I think I enjoy it even more because I know I am getting better at it. Even thought the task of learning how to swim efficiently seemed daunting last winter, I now find swimming exhilarating.
The power of seeing results by daily investing time into something important can translate into every part of our lives. I have been challenging myself to invest time daily in my walk with God. It is really easy to become lax in my study of God’s word and in my prayer time. I easily become busy with checking email or starting to work and before I know it, I have completely ignored God. So, what I am trying to do is to spend 3o minutes with God every morning before I do anything else. Just me, my Bible and Journal and my coffee (can’t forget that of course). I think that if I spend every day focusing on Jesus and learning God’s word I will find that a year from now I will have grown in my faith significantly. I am trying to do the following things.
1. Read a passage of scripture every day. I try to just pick a book of the Bible and read through it. I usually read a chapter or 2 a day but sometimes I will just read a couple of verses and go deeper in them if I feel that God wants me to pause there.
2. I am memorizing one new scripture passage a week. I am trying to do scripture memory in a 3 week rotation. I memorize one new section every week but I keep reviewing and mediating on the scripture passages I learned that last 2 weeks. Note cards are invaluable in this process. I write out each verse and keep it in my Bible.
3. I journal every morning. I try to write down insights from the scripture I am reading and I write down all my prayers. This keeps me focused and fully present.
4. Finally read other books to make me grow. I am convinced that unless I read extensively I will never grow. So, I am reading books by people much wiser than I am. Right now I am reading Tim Keller’s “The Reason for God.” Its a great read!