“It is not the strength of the body that counts but the strength of the spirit.” J.R.R. Tolkien
Strength has always been a priority in many a young person’s life. How many young men and women spend incredible amounts of time strengthening and conditioning their bodies. Athletes of all ilk work to make sure that they are agile and strong. Many run and lift weights and perform all sorts of exercises in the pursuit of the “perfect body”: a body that not only looks good but that also can outperform any competitor.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with being fit and trim. God knows, I could certainly use a certain amount of that myself. All right. A whole lot of that. However, the most fit person, the strongest person, the most agile person can still be brought low. Physical strength and endurance is not what it takes to defeat our spiritual enemy. What is most important is a strong spirit.
Throughout the Season of Lent, we set out to make ourselves spiritually strong. We try to be stronger at Easter than we were when we began Lent. We want to be spiritually stronger than we were last Easter and the Easter before that. It is only when we do everything that we can to hone our spiritual strength that we are set to engage in the competition.
St. Paul spoke about life as a race. Each of us is doing our best to cross the finish line: eternity with God in the Kingdom of Heaven. In that race, we are not competing against anyone other than ourselves. We try to beat our previous scores. We try to do better than we did before. Our goal is reached by doing good works and we fuel our spirits by prayer.
If we do not work on strengthening our spirits, the enemy will do all that he can to lure us off the path. Remember, Jesus told us that the path to the Kingdom of God is narrow. If we allow our enemy to distract us, we might find ourselves going down the wrong path. A weak spirit is more likely to be led astray. A strong spirit will be able to remain focused.
Lent is serious business. Life is serious business. We are in the competition of our lives and for our eternal soul. Make every second count.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God for the spiritual strength that you need to overcome the trials that come your way today.