Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
-1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NRSV)
One of my goals after national office was to grow. To grow physically, to grow mentally, and to grow spiritually.
Physically was easy, sort of. I hired a personal trainer and got some good workouts. I loaded up on protein powder, chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, and whole wheat pasta. And I trained. 6 days a week. Some weeks 7 days. Sometimes twice a day. I worked out, and I grew. I started at 125 and ended the semester at 165. I was pretty pleased.
Mentally, well, I changed majors. I found that I had a calling to teach. My classes in communications were not interesting to me. How was I helping people in this arena? When it came time to register for mass communications, I knew that my heart was not in communications, but in teaching. So I met with my advisor and changed majors. I messed up my schedule. But I found a way to grow myself mentally. I was pleased.
So I was hitting the gym, and I changed majors, but what about my spiritual life. A few months back I had a chance to speak at my home church for the first time. It's funny, I've spoken to a lot bigger, and a lot harsher crowds, but somehow speaking God's word is a bigger deal. At the end, I felt fulfilled. As time has progressed, my relationship with God has grown. I've made mistakes, learned from them, and grown closer as a result. And I continue to make mistakes, but I continue to grow in my walk with God.
In the first two areas I had advisors, trainers, people who directed me in my growth. But in my lost area, I struggled. I did not have a pastor I was close enough to. I did not have just one friend that pushed me. What I have discovered though is I have a network of advisors, trainers, mentors. I call them friends.
"As iron sharpens iron, so one friend sharpens another"
I now realize my friends are those who push me. Those who grow me. Those who make me realize how truly fortunate I am. They are training me in the ways of godliness.
Who surrounds you? Who sharpens you? Who is walking the path that brings you closer to God with you? I am excited about the coming days because one of my best friends and I are doing a Bible study together. Even though we are separated by a continent, I am excited to grow in Christ with someone else. In many ways, we are each others trainers in Christ.
I encourage you to seek out a trainer. Seek out someone who will push you to learn more, do more, serve more, love more. Surround yourself with people who will push you towards God, not pull you away from him. Happy training!