This winter, I took it easy. I had just finished a marathon in December, and I was not training for anything in particular, just running. If it was cold, well, that was a good day to take off. If it was raining, the same. If I was busy, well, there just wasn’t time. I ran, but not with any purpose in mind.
And then suddenly in early April, a running event arrived unexpectedly on my radar. There was a scheduled last minute race through Cades Cove, a loop that weaves its way through God’s splendor in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The road was being repaved for the first time in thirty years and not scheduled to open until the end of May. When the contractors found that they were going to finish a month early, the National Park was allowing a one-time running race to be held on the loop, never again. Now or never. Cades Cove is my favorite running route ever. And suddenly, I had the opportunity to race there in its sanctuary of trees. I basically had less than three weeks to prepare. I now regretted that I had lost my focus over the winter. I really didn’t feel ready.
Too often, opportunity is thrust unexpectedly into our hands, and we are still in our pajamas, so to speak.
There are other times when we work hard at a task before us, and find out that we have been preparing for something entirely unintended. But because we have done our homework, even without a specific goal in mind, we are ready and equipped.
Stay in God’s Word, pray without ceasing, work out your faith daily. We don’t think of those things as training, per se. But through those daily encounters, God will build your strength in Him for a time when you need it most, perhaps for a tough time that you just didn’t see coming down the pike… or an opportunity of a lifetime. And you will already have your running shoes on, ready and waiting.