A couple of weeks ago one of my daughters came home from church convinced that she wanted to run the Twin Cities Marathon in October as part of Team World Vision to raise money for and awareness of poverty in Africa. With encouragement like that, who could not want to tackle one more. Then it turns out that another daughter and one of the fiancees is also going to run. And a large group of people from the Quarry (our church) as well. So Twin Cities in October it is. The upside is that the real training doesn't start until the end of May. The downside is that I remember the last marathon all too clearly. I'm convinced that my training needs to start right away so that I do not lose too much more of what I gained in preparation for Goofy. Because, as we all know, the natural tendency of things is to a mush of unfitness.
Not all that different in the directly spiritual aspects of life. No one ever grew closer to God by accident or the mere passage of time. Inertia draws us away from, not toward, all that is true, right, and virtuous. Continual growth is a bit like swimming upstream. If you stop and drift, then when you start swimming again you will be downstream from where you stopped exerting effort.
Looking ahead it is kind of exciting to me that some of my immediate family will also be taking on something that has brought me great joy. I can only hope that they find a sense of satisfaction in the accomplishment. One of my kids said, "Dad, if I can do this, then I can do anything." In general, I think that she is right.