In 2002, I walked in the Avon 3 Day Walk for Breast Cancer. My mom was nearing the end of her fight with breast cancer. I walked to raise money for breast cancer research, so all of us could feel we were somehow doing something about this awful disease that was taking her from us, and to walk in solidarity with so many others impacted by breast cancer.
All such noble reasons to sign up, but none addressed the fact that this was a 3 day, 60 mile walk – and I hadn’t exercised in years!
Thankfully, the walk sponsors provided training guides and even coordinated training groups. The training was first to work up to walking 4 miles a day – every day. Then, on the weekends, begin longer and longer walks. Starting with 5 or 6 miles, then up to 9 or 10. As the walk neared, we’d do back-to-back 10 mile walks on the weekends to build up that multi-day endurance. All the while breaking in multiple pairs of shoes and learning tricks to prevent and treat blisters.
I approached this training with seriousness because I was determined to finish the walk – ALL 60 miles of it.
I would get up every morning at 4am and walk for an hour – covering 4 miles each weekday. On the weekends, I’d head over to a nearby lake and walk there with others who were training and we’d tackle longer walks. One lap around the lake was 9 miles and boy was that tough!
When the weekend of the walk rolled around, though, I was ready! At least as ready as I was going to be. I can proudly report I walked ALL 60 miles that weekend! The training paid off!
Why wouldn’t we approach life in the same way? Don’t we also need training for change? Learn the tools to better handle change and then practice on the small changes. Practice on the 4 mile walks, before we end up on a 20 mile hike.
A Better Change requires training. Practice on the small changes, so you’ll be ready for the big ones.
As we continue in this series, we’ll look at three essential components for handling life’s changes. Peter learned these as he walked with Jesus. We’ll see him practice (and fail a time or two) until he made these his default responses.
1) Know Jesus – Peter walked side-by-side with Jesus and knew Jesus and his teachings intimately.
2) Pray – We’ll see that prayer is essential to not only surviving change, but thriving through it.
3) Live in community – The disciples lived in community with each other. This community served to support each other, learn from one another and hold each other accountable.
So, as we go further into this study, start trying these tools out on the small changes in your life. Practice using these in the small things and begin to retrain yourself to make these your default responses.
What are some ways you’ve trained in these three key areas? How have you seen this help when change hits?
This post is part of the “A Better Change” series. For more information on this series and to find related posts, click here: A Better Change Series – Overview