Philippians 3:14 - I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.Have you been coasting? Have you gotten into a place in life where it is comfortable, and instead of pressing in, you have found yourself coasting in.
I remember my most memorable college track meet of all time. I was running the 1500 meter dash. I was up against my biggest competitor, the girl who was projected to win our conference meet, MaryBeth was her name. I felt good going into this race. Mentally, I was ready. Physically, I was more prepared than ever. Today was going to be my day.
The gun went off and we breezed off the start line at a pace just under a sprint. Today was going to be a sub-5:00 run, I could feel it. My best run to date had been a 5:04. Racing with MaryBeth in this 6 team meet was going to force me to run fast the WHOLE race. We circled the track, passing the start line with our 1st 300 meters under our belt. I sat right on MaryBeth's heels, off her right shoulder, tucking in behind her as we rounded the curve. My goal, was to just stay with her until the end, then I would make my move. We completed lap 2, our 400 meter splits were showing it was going to be a time well under 5:00. Lap 3, done. As we rounded the curve going into our last lap, I was determined to apply my dad's secret technique that made him a State Champion in his day. I would begin my final kick with 300 meters left in our 1500 meter run. As we rounded the back stretch, I pulled around MaryBeth and began to create a gap between us. 200 meters to go, I maintained my speed, and began to pick it up just a little. With 100 meters left, I did something I had NEVER done before! EVERY meet prior, the last 100 meters I had sprinted, but never allowed my body to really go to that next level, the level where you push to see what your legs really have left. How fast could my legs go during this last 100 meters if I gave it all I had? If I allowed them to really go? We were on pace to run a 4:40-4:45.
In first place, I decided I was going to really leave EVERYTHING on the track. With 100 meters to go, I pushed my legs to go to a new level. I pushed my legs to go to a new speed. With everything I had, I began my final sprint into the finish line.
60, 50, 30 yards to go. My legs began to slow. And my legs got heavier and heavier.
20 yards. 15 yards... picking up each leg as if they weighed 200 pounds, my speed was probably not much faster than a struggled looking walk. 10 yards and I went down. My legs collapsed. I fell. MaryBeth whizzed by me, I crawled a few steps, was able to push my self up to take the last 3 strides to the finish line, and I had finished. 3rd place.
Not only 3rd place, but even with a fall, I still managed to be 6 seconds under my best time ever! 4:58.
To this day, of all the 100's of races I've run in my lifetime, this race is the MOST memorable. I chose to see what my body could do. If only I had more races like that. More practices, where I pushed my body to the max to see what I really could do. This day, though third place, this day was an EXTREME victory to me!
Yesterday in my Quiet Time, the Lord was talking to me about "levels of faithfulness." I've known for some time, that waking up at 6:00, was something I should be doing.... and eventually that time would be moved to 5:00. I was consistent for quite awhile, and even had a 2-3 week stint of waking up at 5:00. Then... through a series of events, allowed circumstances, the dark morning, tiredness, my flesh to let me crawl back in bed... until finally I'd pull myself up around 7:00-7:15.
Granted, I still had my "Time with the Lord"... but it was like I was being given a choice. Yes Amy, you can choose 7:15. Or 6:00. Or 5:00. But the level of your faithfulness is going to determine the speed of fruition for the desires you have. I could sleep in, but it may take longer for some of my dreams to come to pass.
What is it for you? Are you looking to lose weight? Going to the gym, being consistent with working out? How about taking it up a notch. Not just working out, but making your workout count! Leaving it all on the "treadmill." Really giving it all you've got. Maybe it's your business? Your relationship with your spouse? Your goal of writing a book? Your goal of playing an instrument?
My encouragement today... take it Up a Notch. PRESS ON towards the GOAL! Shoot to WIN THE PRIZE!
Give it all you've got. Leave everything you've got on the track! And just wait... it may take some time, it may happen right away... but as you are faithful, watch as God shows up and shows HIS faithfulness!
Let's Step It UP A NOTCH! Are you with me?