When people in our church go through baptism or membership classes, we urge them to identify a verse in the Bible they feel applies to their lives. Both the pastor and I have life verses we share with them, along with an explanation of how they were selected.
The life verse of our pastor is Philippians 4:3. "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Fittingly, that is also the motto of the Trinity Triathlon, which is the first triathlon I will race. Many in our world today benefit from these words. They convey two things. First, there is nothing Christ cannot accomplish. What we consider impossible feats are simple tasks when the power of God is entered into the equation. Second, they remind us that God is the source of all our accomplishments. Easy or difficult, all we do should be for His glory.
My life verse comes from the youth organization to which I belonged as a teenager and with which I volunteer, now. And it is less a verse and more a way of life. That verse is Luke 2:52. "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in strength, and in favor with God and man."
That verse is the foundation of a life model called the Four-fold Way of Life. It guides us to focus on four key aspects of development. They are mental, physical, religious, and social. Christ sought to grow in these areas, and achieving balance and then growth in all four areas results in some pretty neat people. As I grew older (and hopefully wiser), this took on greater and greater meaning in my life. An important part of my young life, it has become the center of my adult life.
Every day, we should strive to better ourselves just a little bit. We tell the kids in our youth organization they should "grow an inch." And we don't mean height wise. We want them to grow as people.
The whole marathon, triathlon, whatever comes after that journey is a part of my four-fold development. In addition to the purely physical improvements, the mental and social aspects of my life have improved. After all, when running with 40,000 of your closest friends, you have to develop some social skills. And learning to swim properly has been a huge mental struggle. And we can't leave out the blog families.
And all of it has helped me to focus on where the true ability (what little there is) comes from. My pastor's life verse, though not mine, is still key to this journey. The idea of completing some of these races is just mind boggling, to me. With strength from Christ, they are all within reach.