You can work out all you want to, but if you train for something you never do, you’ll have wasted
your time. I can physically prepare for anything, but if I don’t invest the effort into an experience
, all my energy is wasted. Several years ago I trained to run in a half marathon; I even signed up online
and paid the entry fee. But none of the training or the financial investment meant anything until I
showed up at the starting line and set out to finish the race. THAT was an experience!
Our experiences — good and bad — all help to shape us. Part of my first race was great... especially
the beginning. But parts of that first half marathon were really bad, including the unexpected
embankment at mile 8 and the IT band issue at mile 12. As much as my training helped, those
experiences in the first race taught me just as much for the next one.
God SHAPEs us just the same way. As much as our gifts and abilities, passions and personalities
help prepare us for the race, it’s the experiences we have while running the race that also SHAPE us
for the miles ahead. The best part is, no matter what kind of experiences you have, God redeems
them all for His good! Train well, but get in the race and keep running!