I believe so I am training to win the race

I have been really trying to be a good Christian. I read books, listened to sermons and tried to apply what I have been reading and hearing. I behaved as if I was doing an education. And even if I say so myself, it really looked nice. I was reasonably satisfied with myself.

Until God asked me an unsettling question; “Do you love me?”

It appeared I wasn’t doing an education, I was in a relationship. Educations I am good at, relationships not so good. When you are in an education you know what is expected from you and when you live up to those expectations, you pass. In a relationship on the other hand, it doesn’t work that way. There are some basic skills that are are very useful to master, but there is no list of requirements, no boxes to tick. In a relationship it revolves around relation, interaction, feeling, noticing, observing, being. It also revolves around knowing and understanding, but on a hearts level, not with your mind. Getting to know each other is about going to trust each other so you dare to open up to each other, so you are getting to know each other better and trust each other more, etc.

I related to God as if He was an old friend of my parents. I knew Him from stories, had read the biography and admired Him greatly. He had given his life for me and I could always go to Him, so I did what I thought was expected from me; being a good Christian, praying, reading the bible, being there for others, the works.

It was nice, but it wasn’t what God was interested in. He wanted my love, not my effort. I could never meet His standards, so that’s why He already did for me what I should have done. He wanted me to get to know Him, trust Him, love Him, walk with Him through life, so I would win the race of life and He could give me ‘the crown that will last forever’.

The training of a believer is not about making as little mistakes as possible. It is about keep trusting God, keep believing Him, despite everything you encounter in life. This can be a major struggle and this is the struggle you will have to win every time.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.