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August 4, 2021

“I Ain’t as Good as I Once Was”

This is a line from a country song I like called, “As Good as I Once Was” by Toby Keith (2005).  The chorus varies a bit but refers to a sexual escapade and a bar fight.

 

I ain't as good as I once was
I got a few years on me now
But there was a time, back in my prime
When I could really lay it down

 

and…

 

I ain't as good as I once was
My how the years have flown
But there was a time, back in my prime
When I could really hold my own

 

It’s the lament of an older man who has lost a few steps.  I find myself singing this song sometimes before competing in a swim meet.  I’ve been racing since I was eight—swimming in high school, college and now as a masters swimmer.  I’ll never be as fast as I was at 20 and I’m constantly dealing with injuries.  It’s the wear and tear of aging and a 43-year career (and counting).

 

But what is true physically is NOT true spiritually.  At least it shouldn’t be.  In fact, it should be the complete opposite. 

 

I came to faith in Jesus Christ at the age of 20.  I marvel at the work that God has done in my life since that time.  I’m so thankful for His grace, forgiveness, mercy and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.  I’m a different man.  While 20 was the peak of my swimming career, it was only the beginning of my spiritual growth and journey.

 

The goal is to be more like Jesus in every aspect of our lives.  The author of Hebrews encourages us to throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles us, so that we can run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1). The goal of this race is to finish it with a greater spiritual maturity (Christlikeness) than when it started.  It’s a race we should give our full energy and attention to. 

 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you’re aging that you’re also growing in spiritual maturity.

 

We need all the time we can get to grow in Christlikeness.  Each day is a training ground to that end.  We might not be as good as we once were physically, but we can be 10x the men we once were spiritually.   

 

Do you want to finish your race stronger than when you started it?

 

What do you need to start doing?

What do you need to stop doing?

What do you need to keep doing? 

 

Next week we’ll look at “Glory Days” with the help of Bruce Springsteen.  

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One Response to ““I Ain’t as Good as I Once Was””
  1. Kirk Davis says:

    Hebrews 12:1 is one of my favorite verses. While I was never very good at all, running was my “sport of choice”. Never lettered in HS, but continued to run “for fun” until my knees gave out.

    What I love about this verse is the fact that we don’t choose the race! It is the one “marked out for us.” God has a plan, and our job is to persevere, because there is a “great cloud of witnesses”. What we do and how we respond is being noticed.

    A month ago today my best friend from HS passed away. He had struggled with Multiple Myeloma for 12 years. We attended his service in Napa, and it was the most inspiring services I’ve ever attended. Why? Because so, so many people spoke about how he had affected their lives…all in a positive way. He led a life that made a difference. He ran the race with perseverance, and it was witnessed my many!

    Thanks for these encouraging posts Mike.

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