a marathon runners does not just wake up one day and decide to run 26.2 miles. it begins one mile at a time. professional athletes don’t just try out for the team and start raking in the big bucks never having played before. their talents build one practice at a time. athletes that desire to compete at a higher level, determine what has to be done for their ultimate accomplishment and they go to work. this can be said for artists, physicians, teachers and the list goes on. in fact, anything one wishes to accomplish, usually has a vision; a goal in the end. one doesn’t just wish to be thinner and once the decision is made the pounds begin to fall off. it must be rendered one calorie at a time. the smokers; one cigarette at a time, the alcoholics; one drink at a time, the shopaholic; one midnight infomercial at a time. we first have to see in ourselves a picture of better days in order to make that vision real. once the desire is born, we soon discover that our self-motivation and day by day action is required in order to really reach the full potential of our lives. accomplishing good health, maximizing our talents and realizing our dreams has to begin within. one day at a time. no one else can do the work for the dreams and desires of our heart. true success can be seen if we take our challenges bit by bit. as is the case with our faith…we aspire to be better stewards of God and achieve an everlasting life. we aspire to pray more, attend church more, give back more, be kinder to everyone, judge less and on and on. and just like the athlete that determines the work ahead in pursuit of the championship, each practice is a means to that end, for a practicing Christian, every devotion we read provides the road map to the winners circle. for the athlete, every day in strength training provides a stronger, leaner competitor. for the dedicated Christian, every prayer builds the strength we must acquire everyday to follow His path. for the addict that successfully overcomes the temptations of their poison, that discipline creates stability and results. in the confessing and dedicated Christian, the purging of our sins allows us to begin each new day fresh and forgiven. see the theme? the success in our lives requires the daily pursuit of these dreams and desires in order to insure true accomplishment. but make no mistake, the ultimate prize can not be found here in this life but can only be won here; bit by bit, day by day, prayer by prayer.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11