Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Sport or Fitness (02/15/07)
- TITLE: Exercising Faith
By Jan Ross
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My first real vivid memory is when I was six. My legs were weak and my body was small and under-developed. I couldn’t walk. But one particular day—I remember it so well. The sun was shining and Mother took me outside under the oak tree in the front yard. She laid a quilt down for us to play on.
Pastor Kelly was driving by and saw us in the front yard. He stopped and pulled in the driveway. With his car windows open and engine running, he got out to talk to Mother for a moment. What I remember so well is what I heard on his radio.
“Walk by faith not by sight! Exercise your faith! Don’t let your faith just lie there. Put it to work and help your faith grow strong.”
I have to laugh as I think back. In my childlike understanding, I thought that preacher on the radio was talking to me! All I kept hearing was “Walk, Faith!” “Exercise, Faith!” “Grow strong, Faith!”
Sitting there listening, I managed to get up on my legs and take my first steps. It was that day my “faith walk” began—that day my life changed.
I wish I could tell you the next 18 years were easy because I began to understand the meaning of my name. It hasn’t been easy! Not in the least! But step by step as I exercised faith (pardon the pun), I’ve grown stronger and accomplished more than the doctors ever imagined. In fact, they’re amazed! I’m not! I’ve learned what faith is all about, or should I say, I’ve learned what Faith is all about!
There was another day that stands out to me—one I just have to share with you before I get back to work. I was in tenth grade. I loved school. I loved learning. I loved the challenge of new—new ideas, new thoughts, new processes, new ways of doing things. What my small body lacked in strength, my mind made up for. I was strong—I still am!
Anyway, it was after math class. We were between classes. I remember that I was really struggling with my strength that day. I was tired and feeling desperate for rest. It was early afternoon and I wondered if I could make it. I really considered going to the school nurse for permission to go home. I did that quite often when I got tired.
Ok. So I was in the hall at my locker and I heard someone yell out, “Where’s Faith?” It hit me! Where was my faith? Joe, my friend since childhood, appeared out of the mass of kids and asked if I was all right. It hit me. “I’m fine, Joe! I’m Faith! Thanks for the reminder!”
A sudden surge of strength gave me what I needed to make it through the day. I kept reminding myself … “I’m Faith! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”
Isn’t it amazing? Sometimes I wonder if my parents really understood the significance of my name. Actually, I asked my Mother about that not too long ago. She admitted that she named me Faith because of her personal struggle. She really didn’t know if I would live, so naming me Faith was a reminder that she needed to trust God and not the daily reports from the doctors.
So, I guess my name was significant to her also! But I doubt she really understands how significant it is to me. It’s almost like God told her that I needed to be named Faith to be reminded that my life was a faith walk, an exercise in faith, one day at a time. And, it is!
I’ve got to get busy. I come here to exercise often. I listen to the Bible on my ipod while I work out. I can’t do near as much as the others, but I keep trying and I won’t give up. That’s what the Bible says, doesn’t it? “Faith comes by hearing…” My life is proof of that! Besides, when I come here I’m doing what I heard on the radio when I was six—I’m exercising Faith!
Hey! Thanks for letting me share.
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