Becoming An Ironman
Learning how to run the race set before us as iron men.
It is a hard-won designation: Ironman. It indicates that you completed a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a marathon 26.22 run without a break. And you finished in under 17 hours. It is one of the premier endurance competitions on planet earth, and it takes preparation, discipline, and resolve to complete.
And Jesus demonstrated this kind of resolve during his life on planet earth. This is the reason I chose "resolute" as the title for this ministry because it describes who Jesus was so well. Resolved. Resolute. It's a word taken from Luke 9:51, "As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem." At this point in his 3-year ministry, he is no longer quiet about who he is or what he is going to do. He is resolved. And from here he progressively gets stronger, clearer, and firmer in his conviction. He is on a direct course to the cross and set to fulfill his mission. This word, "resolute" describes the man I want to be - an ironman for Jesus.
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Becoming a man of iron.
I want to be a man of iron like Jesus: going the distance; living with resolve; giving total effort; focusing on the goal; possessing the discipline need to complete the race God has before me.
So what does this look like for you?
While there are differences between you and me in our gifting, there are some constants for all men as we become iron men.
First: Ironmen embrace their title.
We live with the daily realization that our lives do not belong to us but to Christ. Anyone competing in the Ironman knows that his life, and therefore identity, belongs to the title of the race. That no obstacle can get in the way of the preparation, discipline, and resolve needed to compete in the competition because the title of the competition is who they become. In the same way, our lives, and therefore identity belongs to Christ. This means that our identity must be fully attentive to the daily discipline that prepares this identity. Each day belongs to him, not us. And each day we form more to his training, as we run the race set before us.
Second: Ironmen are resilient.
While and Ironman competitor will eventually stumble along the way, the ironman will always come back for more. More practice, more effort, and more improvement. With Christ, as we become more aware and attentive to the Holy Spirit's work in our lives, we stumble with an attitude of resilience, seek forgiveness, and move forward in grace.
Third: Ironmen are finishers.
You cannot be an ironman if you do not finish in the allotted time. And we find accomplishment of going the distance for Christ. No one who competes in the Ironman would tell you that it is easy. It can be arduous, and it will take all a man can give. But anyone who finishes has the satisfaction that they did it. We completed the race! And the Ironman for Christ is one who knows he will finish from the moment he starts. Running is done with the confidence that finishing is imminent.
Just before Jesus died on the cross, he said, "It is finished." He stated that He had completed the resolute race the Father had given him. I want to be able to say that at the end of my life. How about you?
Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.