Thursday, August 2, 2012


Trainer Bob, Me, My Davenport-grown friend & her husband

When has the humble service of a fellow believer inspired you?

This question was posed to me in a Bible study I am doing with some friends. At first, it was difficult for me to think of an answer on the spot. I wrote down a time that the service of a fellow believer humbled me, but I couldn’t really pinpoint a time where it inspired me… until I really listened to my heart.

Maybe this question had me thinking among the greats of Mother Theresa and Jim Eliot. And with the recent read of Kisses from Katie, there is no doubt that Katie Davis' servant heart is inspirational. These are people who make a huge difference in our world, inspiring the many who inevitably notice the way they imitate Christ. My mind drifted to family and church members, thinking about those people who serve on a regular basis, making it appear like a natural part of life. While there are likely many people who have inspired me with their example to serve, my heart is stuck on a servant who could easily be overlooked.

All week, I’ve been thinking about my accomplishment of completing the Bix this past weekend. Over 15,000 people participated in this 7-mile race. It was crazy packed leaving my friends and me weaving in and out of people from start to finish. But it was an experience I will not soon forget. I am thankful that my Davenport-grown-moved-to-Plainfield friend put the bug in my ear for this goal. And we did it… with a time I’m pretty happy with, too.

Having this run on the calendar gave me a goal. I printed off a running schedule and, for the most part, stuck with it. While it was lonely training by myself throughout the week, there were friends who would be running the race with me and that kept me going. Better yet, my friend and trainer, Bob, was a person I could hit up for advice on what to do from week to week. He was continually checking in on me to make certain I would be ready for the hills I would face at the end of July. Trainer Bob woke up at 5am on more than one Saturday to take my friend, Stacy, and I out for hill training. Not only did he plan the workout and get up before it was necessary on the one day he could sleep in, but he always had ice cold water and Gatorade on hand for us as well.

This isn’t the first time Bob has pushed me to a healthy lifestyle. Just this past spring, he led “boot camp” at our church out of the goodness of his heart. He likes to inspire people to push themselves to new levels. While I wasn’t able to participate in the running group he organized last fall (due to a broken toe), I won’t be missing it this year.

Even now, in this post-race week, Bob has been pushing me. When I voiced my desire to lay off the miles for a few days, Trainer Bob was there to encourage me with a specific goal. (Two 3-mile runs down, Bob, one to go!) What amazes me is that he could be somewhere training people and getting paid for his time and energy. At Southfield, however, Bob has been giving with no expectation of anything in return.  Anything that is, except for healthy people alongside him with fitness goals on their minds.

This is my friend’s passion. It’s not mine… but I truly appreciate the benefits I have received from aligning myself with Bob and his family. It may not appear spiritual to some. But I know that serving in this type capacity requires selflessness. It takes a heart that is aligned with God’s to do what he does. Bob, you inspire me. Sure, I’m inspired to continue a healthy lifestyle, but more so, I want to embrace my passions and utilize them to help others live better lives. Thanks for surrendering your passions to God.

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.” – 1 Peter 4:10-11

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