So, as I was reading through my NIV Student Bible earlier, I came upon this question: “If spiritual maturity is like a marathon, how far along are you?”
OK, for starters, I am more of a “spiritual sprinter.” I want to know all about God and everything in the Bible fast and now. That is just not how that works. It really is a painful reality for me. Regarding the question above, however, I am back near the starting line, I believe. I started out with not a lot of “training.” I knew about Jesus and God, That was it for a very long period of time. I guess that got me off the line at that sound of the starter pistol. I ran with that for a little while, and hurdles started getting in the way. What the are hurdles doing in a marathon? Well, it is spiritually based, so you can visualize all of those hurdles. Becoming really tired of dealing with the hurdles, I just dropped out of the race. My belief in God had dwindled down to nothing, sadly. There was no longer a race for me. I had given up on my spiritual marathon that I did not even know existed.
I became afraid of even putting on “running shoes” let alone being in some sort of race. The fear was due to a broken heart and a blistered soul. My heart and soul had been running for so long that they both just gave out and gave up. My belief kicked back in, but I just had no interest in learning about God. I was ignorant of the fact that there was so much more to learn. That there is a story behind faith. Becoming more aware of this fact became most evident in 2010. I met a friend, and a family, who reintroduced me to God, faith, and spirituality. Now, to be clear, I considered myself to be a spiritual person at that point. I just had not taken it any further. I gave myself permission to, at the very least, take a look at those running shoes, again. I put them on, laced them up, and off I went like a bullet fired from the most powerful gun known to man. Again, I have a sprinter’s spirit and mentality. I found a church I really like, I was going to a Bible study, and I was really eager to grow so much. Go me!
I began facing, and hitting, multiple hurdles, again.
I ran myself tired, or maybe “complacent” is the correct word. While my shoes are still on, my hurdles have seemingly grown and are right in my face. I am willing to continue to become more spiritually mature. The odds are in my favor, I believe. Still feeling like I am in the zygote stage of my spirituality, I know that I get a life-long chance to continue to mature further, AND I do not have to do it alone.
The next time I get tired, and I want to quit, I know that I just have to look in a different direction.
For anyone tempted to grow weary and lose heart, the very best cure is to “[fix] our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” — NIV Student Bible (Hebrews 12:20).
So, if spiritual maturity is like a marathon, how far along are you?