Yesterday, I ran a Spartan Sprint race with my daughter Morgan. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a Spartan race is…this is the “Intro” one called a “Sprint.” It was 5.2 miles with 20 obstacles…not the least of which were crawling under barbed wire in the dust and rocks for what seemed like 10 miles, carrying a 40lb bag of sand up hill (did I mention this was a ski mountain?), rope climbs, more walls than I care to remember, sporadic mud and very smelly water, and just generally enduring the punishing, unrelenting Summer sun.
Yes, we paid to do this, and I’m glad we did. Here are some lessons and thoughts:
- Training. It cannot be overstated the importance of being ready for this race. It was punishing. I was very happy I had been diligent in training. Still. It. Was. Hard. Makes me think – are we prepared for trials and suffering in our lives? We are preaching thru 1 Peter right now at Highlands and suffering is unavoidable. Am I ready?
- Military. I grew in appreciation for our military in not only how hard they train, but also the danger they face. As I said to one fellow Spartan as we were crawling under the barbed wire – “Hey. At least we aren’t getting shot at.”
- Team Work. There is a generally good sense of team work at these races. Morgan and I definitely cheered each other on, helped each other, and celebrated overcoming the obstacles. Are we helping each other run our “life races” well?
- Goals. Straight up – it’s awesome to set goals and then accomplish them, even in the face of suffering and resistance. We were walking up our final hill and one woman said “Keep your head up. One foot in front of the other and don’t stop.” It was so simple, yet true – each step we took literally got us closer to the end. Set goals, get going, push yourself past where you think you can go and don’t stop.
- Stewardship. This wasn’t about us, it was about the challenge, but it made me think of being a good steward of what God has given us in our health and the gospel. I think of 1 Timothy 4 – “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8 ESV). Am I giving enough dedicated, diligent attention to growing in Godliness and living daily in the gospel? Our bodies will pass away, we need to be healthy and diligent stewards of them, but ultimately we exist not for our own glory but for the glory of God!