On Your Mark, Get Set…Now What?


“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

Here is the moment. The heat of the day is upon you as the sun makes known its blistering presence. Other runners are stretching and warming up. Eye contact is limited to quick glances as everyone is at high focus. A nervous sensation begins to build at the base of your stomach as you look up to the gathered crowd of observers. You begin to question, “What am I doing? Why am I here? Am I good enough? Am I ready?” Then the official calls out, ”Runners, on your mark!” The nervousness hits you with force now, seeming to reach your throat as you realize that it is now too late. There is no turning back. You have to go through with this. You reluctantly get your feet into the starting blocks, your head down as you place your hands into position on the ground. You feel sweat rolling down the side of your brow. You can hear the steady but firm breathing from the other runners. The official calls out again, “Runners, set!” and the whole world goes dark. Surrounding sounds meld into utter nothingness. The anticipation of the starters gun weighs heavy. Silence.

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“I love you, GOD—you make me strong.”

“I love you, GOD—you make me strong.”

(Psalm 18:1 MSG)


Psalm 18 is one of my favorite chapters found in scripture. I absolutely adore the imagery it presents of a loving and protective Father defending and securing His vulnerable child. I write from that chapter this week due to a series of occurrences in which the sites and sounds of the never-ending advances of life’s troubles have confronted me. I have spoken with friends who are facing the fierceness of their foe. I have met brothers and sisters in Christ who are desperately searching for the slightest glimmer of hope and understanding. I have even found myself confronted by the enemy’s familiar schemes. Reminders abound, that complacency in our walk, distraction in our faith, weakness in our flesh, our tendency to follow fallen humanity, and our propensity to attempt the digestion of poisonous secular influences, can lead us unto the dark murky swamps of a false and lifeless world.

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