“Stress—recover—improve.”

Tod is about to do what most of us young pastors look forward to doing after they’ve been in one place for a period of time reaping the blessings of a blessed pastorate and/or going through the valleys of a lonely pastorate. He quotes this fellow and his philosophy for training to be a runner. I couldn’t help but catch the quote Tod makes reference to and how it sat with me this morning;

“Gentleman, take a primitive organism, any weak, pitiful organism. Make it lift or jump or run.  Let it rest.  What happens?  A little miracle.  It gets a little better.  That’s all training is.  Stress—recover—improve.”

I’ve had a hard couple of months in ministry, some valleys if you will, and I love the idea that any first call as a pastor serving in a church, is a time of training. It’s a time to run hard and to learn how to train in becoming the kind of pastor that seeks to be an equipper of saints and a messenger of God’s redemptive grace. The difficulty that comes with this kind of training for doing kingdom work is how do you truly recover from those valleys, those marathons of ministry? How do you rest knowing that if you don’t keep up, you’ll fall out of the race? How do you improve knowing that this is the kind of training that will only build the kind of strength and endurance a follower of Christ needs to have, doing the kind of work that draws the people of God into doing the work of the kingdom, making the people of God our mission and building community in a world the just plain out sucks sometimes? Okay. one huge long sentence…just some random thoughts on a much needed day off.

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