Will’s heart filled once again with determination as he thought about the grueling mission that was before him. Having recently lost his father to a tragic dog sledding accident, the farm was now threatened and could be lost if he was not able to provide the money that was owed. There was only one chance to save the farm. A five hundred mile dog sledding race was soon to be held, and the prize to the first place winner would be, a total of ten thousand dollars. Such a prize would more than save the farm. Despite the fact that he was only seventeen, he was determined to win it. Earlier that day, Will had asked his good Indian friend, Ned, if he would train him in preparation for the upcoming race. Ned had warned Will that training would be harsh but Will insisted that he could handle it, and his friend finally agreed.
Suddenly, the door to Will’s room flew open with a loud bang. Two strong hands grabbed him by the back of his shirt and dragged him outside into the dark, cold night. Will yelled as he felt himself being planted face first into a deep bank of snow. Then he heard the voice of Ned speak the words,
“Training begins now.”
With that, Ned left Will lying in the snow, then, he ran into the house and locked the door behind him. Will scrambled after him and pounded on the door but no one answered. His training for the long, hard race had begun.
“Training begins now.”
Over the past several months, those words have echoed many times through my head and I have felt as if I were the one with my face planted in the snow. As I struggle to face what has been the most difficult time in my life, I have had the realization that I am simply in training to prepare me for the plans that the Lord has for my future.
Training. Is. Hard. - Ask any Olympic champion and I’m sure they will tell you that they didn’t win any metals by sitting on a couch and watching television! Years of hard work and training helped them learn perseverance and diligence, as well as giving them what they needed to even make it to the starting line.
I have known many ambitious young people who had amazing dreams of the things that they wanted to do for the Lord. However, as soon as the trail became too rough and uncomfortable, or unforeseen circumstances came in their path, their ambition vanished and they chose to become couch potatoes rather than deal with the problems that were before them. I have watched as others chose to avoid or detour around the training that the Lord was trying to put them through and then they wait for years and wonder why God isn’t using them the way they thought He would. But how can a trainer prepare someone for a race if they are not willing to go through proper training? Many times the Lord will place unwelcome and unplanned circumstances in our lives. These circumstances are not a punishment, they are simply training us for the future plans he has in store for our lives. Training is to teach us perseverance, faithfulness, diligence, to purify us, to rid us of pride and selfishness, and to ultimately make us more like Jesus Himself.
I am currently under training. Most of the time, it feels as though it will never end. That there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I could chose to leave my horrible circumstances, get a job and go live my life the way I want to. But I know that the Lord has placed me here for such a time as this, and though the lessons he is teaching me are the hardest I have yet had to learn, I have chosen to do this His way and I believe that in the end it will be worth the fight. We do not get to chose the kind of training we get to go though, but often times we do have the choice if we are willing to go through training at all. But the Lord is faithful. During the times when I need it the most, I am again reminded of the dreams that He has placed in my heart, and I know that this season in my life is only training for what is yet to come.