So it's been a few days...
My mind is still blown that I would so drastically change my mind about Ironman. I'm still weirded out by it. I lost count how many times the words "NEVER" came out of my mouth....for years...and I meant it.
In my last blog post, I went into some detail about where I thought this change of mind came from. My reasoning seems to be becoming clearer, especially after our church sermon on Sunday.
The new sermon series is called "Oh the Places You'll Go" based on Dr. Seuss, and the topic of Pastor John's sermon this week was "Tests + Trust + Time = Friendship with God." To be completely honest with you, my faith has been tested dramatically in the last few years. I have dealt with so much adversity and have questioned the Christian faith so many times. I have struggled to understand my relationship with God. But I've stuck with it, I've prayed, and I have continued to have faith.
But it's not enough. My relationship with God needs a big fat tune-up. The message behind the sermon centers around three tests we go through in order to have a friendship with God (or to rediscover and strengthen our friendship).
Test #1: Comfort Test - Will I step outside of my comfort zone?
Test #2: Patience Test - Will I wait on God's timing?
Test #3: Allegiance Test - Will I let go?
As is true for so many of the sermons, this spoke right to me. It brought tears to my eyes. It was guiding me to my next journey.
Okay, so you're thinking, what in the world does Ironman have to do with God?
For those of us with faith, we know that we can't do anything without God. Physical endurance goals are one of those things. If I take on this enormous challenge, it will require that I seek God's guidance, strength, and unending love. I will have hours of time to speak with God.
Could this be how I find my friendship with God? As I analyze the three tests, I can see myself being guided to this huge endeavour. First of all, the Comfort Test is clearly in play. I will be so far outside my comfort zone, I won't even be able to see it in the distance. The Patience Test is requiring me to wait nearly two years to embark on this journey. I could so easily just sign up for the race next year, but I know in my heart it is not the right timing. I have to believe that this delay is exactly what is supposed to happen. The Allegiance Test will require me trusting in the process and turning to God to allow Him guide me, and to believe that I can do it.
I have no regret for changing my mind about this race. It still feels right to me. But I'm going to further explore the lessons I learned on Sunday. There are a few circumstances outside of racing that these tests apply to as well, and I'm also seeking understanding in those. So much to think about.