Training…

Training is ‘body’.

From our first days in infancy, we’re training in the control of our physical selves, gradually attaining mastery over these chubby and flailing arms and legs. We begin to move them where and when we want, to make the hands grasp, and the feet balance and toddle. We hear our babbling voice and shape our tongues around meaningful sounds. We get control of our bladders. We crawl, walk, run, jump, and soar.

As we develop and mature, we take on the soccer field, basketball court, or baseball diamond, or the bandstand, dance floor, and dramatic stage. It’s then we’re told about “practice”, and the need for boring repetition of small actions, scales, steps, and lines. But we shouldn’t forget the big moments: taking off the extra wheels, playing in any game, performing our best for every concert, recital, or curtain call.

Training is ‘mind’.

Thinking is learned, too. Initially, it’s focusing on communicating our needs, on speaking, vocabulary and grammar, and reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic. It’s finding a natural bent towards a specialized calling, something we don’t mind doing a lot of, something to make a career of. Then somehow, we reach a point where there seems to be nothing new to consider. We’ve seen it all, except maybe the newest TV series. But we shouldn’t forget the big moments: the epiphanies, the light dawning, and the passing of tests, big and little.

Training is ‘them’.

We see others. They’re bigger, but eventually, they shrink. We struggle to get them to do what we cry for, until we get the idea that we can do for ourselves. There’s some that are our size – we become friends. But then – whoa, there’s a difference we like, but we’re struggling awkwardly again to communicate. Much, much later, we realize that no, there’s no difference, because we’re all just people. We didn’t recognize the similarities; we saw only the differences, and them wasn’t us. But we shouldn’t forget the big moments: the best friends, first dates, and important days when people were all around for us.

Training is ‘work’.

Work is putting body, mind, and them together. It’s learning to respond under pressure, to follow orders, to work together, to connect all that with the “why” some things are more important than others; things like teamwork, each piece doing its part to make the whole effective. We reach “pro” and find that we’re treating each workday the same, kind of on autopilot. But we shouldn’t forget the big moments: the “job well done’s”, the promotions, and even the necessary career changes.

Training is ‘glad’.

Somewhere we heard that attitude is everything. Happiness is a choice. We think, though, that it’s other people, places and things that make joy. But too often, these externalities don’t – can’t – go the way we want, and we remember those cliches. We give them a try, and never forget when we found we can just ‘get happy’.

Training is ‘calm’.

It’s gotta be right now! Impatience. We want what we want. And we never forget when waiting doesn’t seem to bother us anymore.

Training is ‘self’. And training is ‘life’.

Training is not a four-letter word. I’ve figured out (finally) that everyday is a unique learning experience, a chance for growth,and for celebration. I try to approach each minute as if it were a “big moment”, that it may be something not to be forgotten. The analogy of sports teams treating regular season games the same as playoff games (or vice versa) fits. When I pick up the guitar and sing, it’s always like I’m praising the Lord on Sunday at church. I’ve learned to stop looking at the routine as boring repetition, memorization by rote. Monday morning is the same as Friday night is the same as Sunday’s message.

Because training is the Lord’s way.

and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:23-24 (ESV)

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