Rigorous: manifesting, exercising, or favoring rigor: very strict, scrupulously accurate, precise.
This upcoming weekend I will be running a half-marathon. I haven’t been training; in fact, I haven’t run more than 6 miles in over 6 months. My training has been anything BUT rigorous. I’m relying on my natural athletic ability, self-determination, grit and pride to get me through this race. My goal is to finish within 2 hours.
Recently, I’ve heard a lot about giving your life away, spiritual disciplines, living missionally, and training for godliness. Though these are not necessarily easy concepts, I usually think I’ve got my mind pretty well wrapped around them. Words like training and discipline come pretty naturally to me. Once I set my mind to something, I am determined to follow through with it. (side note: the wives tale that the ability to curl your tongue is genetic is false. I worked for 2 weeks to learn this skill because I was determined that my younger sister would not best me at anything)
Unfortunately, I often approach spiritual training and discipline with the same mindset that I do to running: just do it. Worst case scenario, I’ll grit my teeth and get it done because I am a Generation Y American and I can do anything. Ha. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as helpless and weak as I have in the past year. Y’all, it has happened – I’ve become a full-fledged crier, no bones about it.
Ironically, I’ve also never felt more dependent, yet invigorated; helpless, yet powerful; exhausted, yet energized. I don’t know if my life is rigorous, but I’m learning what it means to live outside of my own strength. I’m learning how miniscule and pathetic my own strength is and how infinite and vibrant God’s strength is. All the more reason to train for godliness.
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8