TRAINING VS TRYING
You know that ka-feeling when you have tried so hard on a lot of things and you cannot see them growing (ni kama zime-stagnate/ hazisongi – yaani they are not moving). I pause here to think of how a mother would feel if her child was not growing. That would be a great cause for concern (wapi? – A panic attack and a possible heart attack could ensue from such).
Well, thank God in this case, we are not talking about babies, but it can be really frustrating when you are trying (I use this word soo deliberately) soo hard and things don’t seem to work out or go as you wish. And then it hit me (after much prayer, analysis and being sermonized) that right there was the problem – I was TRYING (Read B.I.G PROBLEM) not TRAINING.
See, trying is a good thing – don’t get me wrong. It helps you to have a glimpse of what could be (testing-the-waters); and being able to see possibilities is good, just don’t get carried away by them because trying never brings any real change. It is just a stage to usher you into the path to real and lasting results –the difficult and most rewarding path of TRAINING.
So, it turns out that I have been testing the waters rather long and it’s now time to move on to the training stage. The guiding text for me in this new journey is found in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 which we shall hopefully dissect in this post (Am not a big fan of very long posts so I hope it will be of bearable length).
1. IN IT TO WIN IT
24Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
In training, one must know what end is. For the athlete, the end is the crown and they run in such a way as to obtain it (as in, hakuna kubahatisha). In trying kuna kubahatisha/ kuona vile itatokelezea; and that leaves room for any kind of outcome. Not so with training; in it there are no excuses. You are in it to do, give, be and then get THE BEST. In whatever you are doing my friend: What is the end? Are you in it to win it? Do you want to get the best? Then run in such a way; that sets aside the boys from the men (why must it always be said like that? Anyway, you get the point).
25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
For the training to be effective and the results lasting, you must be temperate (read DISCIPLINED). How, you ask? With trying, you can do anything and not be accountable. There are no restrictions or requirements. Here, ANYTHING GOES and comfortably so. Not so with training. In it you must be disciplined, you must ‘do what you gotta do’ whether you like it or not. There are sacrifices to be made, and hardships to be endured but these are nothing compared to the end in mind. Are you making the necessary sacrifices to get where you want to go? HAKUNA SHORTCUT!
The road to success is paved with
sacrifices and determination
3. A PLAN
26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air;
In essence, Paul is saying the athlete knows what he is doing. He is not just waking up to and doing anything. It training, there is a clear path and it must be followed, consistency is key. Without it not much can be achieved. You cannot just flow with the river and expect to land at the mountain top. You must be deliberate about where you are headed; otherwise your life will take directions you never imagined (na utakuwa unashangaa, ‘nilifikaje hapa’ – sounds familiar?). Have a plan, and follow it. Learn your lessons and keep taking the turns and bends, never lose sight of where you are going for the how (read PATH) will get you there.
4. LEADING BY EXAMPLE
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
This last one is for me (and now you); and I was wondering why, but as I ponder upon this am tempted to think that Paul had seen many fall back and shirk. This especially because training is not easy to go through. I must tell you, there are days it will be hard, there are times you will sacrifice sleep, experience disappointment and failure.., but when those times come (for they will) PRAY, LEARN,PICK UP and KEEP GOING; take care that by any means you wont be a castaway (be stranded/lost - in short usiachwe nyuma ukapotea).
(and file your tax returns my friend!)