Driving back to our rural home the other evening from my part-time job “in town,” I heard a segment on our local Christian radio station with Shaunti Feldhahn in which she was discussing her new study, The Life Ready Woman. She said something that I had heard before in other formats but, as is often the case, when she said it that night I heard it in a whole new way. She was talking about how we as women prepare for life and her comment was that we often think of that in terms of training for life on this earth when we truly ought to be looking at this earth as preparation for the rest of our life. As is also typical, God is clearly bringing this idea to the forefront of what I am supposed to be learning right now, because this morning as I sat down to do some reading from my Bible, I turned to 1 Timothy 4. In verses 7 and 8 Paul tells Timothy, “Don’t have anything to do with godless stories and silly tales. Instead, train yourselves to be godly. Training the body has some value. But being godly has value in every way. It promises help for the life you are now living and the life to come.” (NIrV) Hmmm, so the new fitness class I have been intentional about attending lately is good, but I need to be seeking ways of working out my faith, too.
I am a busy, busy gal. I have two small children, I teach drama part-time at a performing arts studio where my daughter and I also take classes, I own a home grown business along with my husband and parents, I have a household to take care of and I am married to a man who deserves to have a lot of my attention. I am often studying things about homeschooling my children, teaching my drama students, taking care of my family and ways to improve our business. I like making to do lists and setting goals for the coming week, month, year, five year period. It is so easy to get caught up in all of that studying, planning and goal setting and forget that everything happening in the here and now is in reality just the training ground for all that is to come.
In 2 Corinthians 5:4-10 Paul says, “For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (NIV)
Would we really prefer to be away from the body? What in our goals and actions from here on this earth testify to that? Paul is very clear at the end of this passage that neglecting our training in godly things now will have consequences then. So I am making it my purpose over the next few weeks to start making some new goals. I am going to start being more intentional about my own personal Bible study, about teaching the principles of God to my children and about outreach to others. What about you? In what ways do you feel called to get out there and exercise your godly muscles?