In a selfish, self involved, individualistic culture, it's easy to get sucked into the "I can do it on my own" mentality. Working in the church often spares me from too much isolation, but culture continues to push in the opposite direction.
Participating in TNT is another counter cultural voice in my life. Often, when things aren't the way we want them to be in our lives, we hull up. We self-isolate. And we refuse to share the full truth of our reality. That happens spiritually (we don't want to admit to addiction or sinfulness or back sliding, or a lack of spiritual disciplines) and it happens physically (we don't want to admit bad eating habits, or lack of exercise, or laziness when it comes to our health). So it's easier to go at it alone, otherwise someone might find us out.
During the week, I have been training on my own. Not to self-isolate, just because there aren't a lot of team mates in my area and Saturdays are our together day. And sometimes, on Saturday I'm pushed to run faster or longer than I would on my own. My team stretches me to be better. This week, I ran with a teammate who trains nearby and she claimed that she's "slow", well, we weren't running 30 seconds before I knew her pace was a lot faster than mine. She claimed to be a jogger, but she most assuredly was running. (Where the actual shift from jog to run actually happens, I don't really know). But she was running. And I ran with her. I hadn't stretched properly or done anything the day before and so my calves burned almost instantly and they kept burning. After one mile I asked to stop and stretch and then we walked mile 2 and then did a mix of running and walking mile 3. She pushed me to be better. It wasn't intentional on her part, she didn't set out thinking "I've got to make her a better runner" but her example (and her pace) drove me to up the anty on my own running.
And that's what community does. Community that's focused on the same goal anyway. Community that shares the same values and practices the same disciplines draws us into being better, and that's the way it should be.
Thank you teammates. Go Team!
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