For the past several months I have been training to run a half marathon. A week or so back I was scheduled to go for a 4 mile training run. Three steps into the run I was tired and my body hurt and I wanted to turn around. It was too early in the morning, I hadn’t eaten anything, and it was hot. This was going to be a painful run. This was going to require commitment. I did complete the 4 miles, because I knew that to complete a half marathon, you have to train. You can’t miss very many days. You can’t just train when you feel like it. I continued when I wanted to quit. If you want to complete a race of almost any distance, you need to train on days you don’t feel like it.
Muhammad Ali said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’ I hope you don’t think of Life Groups as suffering, but if you want to grow in your relationship with God and others, it is not going to come without cost. There are weeks you aren’t going to feel like being at Life Group, go anyway. There will be nights you don’t want to risk relationships, do it anyway. There will be nights you don’t feel like caring for the others in the group, do it anyway. Make the commitment right now that you are going to be at Life Groups every week.
Life Groups are like training for a marathon, they do take sacrifice, but if you put in the time you will “live the rest of your life with relationships that started in your Life Group.” Make the Commitment to take the Risk.
PS – I did run the half marathon and I did finish and because of the training actually felt pretty good at the end!
Pastor Roger Graber
Shadow Lake Community Church