"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17)
It happened. Frost covered the ground. Our breath was visible. Hands freezing. It was the coldest run of the year.
Monterey is known for a rather mild climate — never too hot, never too cold. We never run in snow, but our mild climate means none of us purchase the typical cold weather running gear. On this morning, I put on all I could, laced ‘em up, and drove on out to the trailhead.
I know with certainty I would not have been out there at that cold morning hour if it hadn’t been for him. My friend has run with me nearly every Friday for the past few years. It has been accountability at its finest. We have run on afternoons when the sun was merciless. We have run on mornings when the cold was disabling. On this recent run I was certain: I would have been in bed if it hadn't been for our agreement to meet and hit those trails.
Trying to talk, our teeth chattered as we ran, but we warmed up. The sun began to settle on the hills and we began removing layers of gloves and hats and jackets. As the time slipped by, so did the pain of getting out there. I felt satisfied with our work for the morning, glad to have made it out there for a great time of recreation.
This often describes the Christian life. To fly solo is near impossible. The sheer willpower it takes to make your commitments and stick to them is massive. But to run with likeminded believers provides an accountability that is rewarding.
My encouragement here is simple: do work to find brothers and sisters in Christ who will help keep you moving toward the goal of Christ. Find people who share that passion for Jesus, people who want to be conformed to the image of Jesus like you do, people who will challenge you. If you surround yourself with people who never push you in your walk with Christ, you cannot expect to get far. Likeminded believers are a great aid to your walk and mine.
This is one of the reasons I love and promote our small group ministry at Calvary so much. Weekly, I meet men and women who want to enter into a deeper walk with Christ. The most glaring problem, however, is they are completely disconnected from others who will share their new value system. Quickly, they must find a connection to other believers, those who will exemplify and support them in the Christian life.
In this Christian life, do you want to run? Do you want to go distances you never thought possible? Do you want to have a level of spiritual fitness that is stronger than you currently possess?
Find running buddies in the Christian life. Find men and women who will stand with you as you battle. Once you find them, be the support to them you need them to be for you.