In college I applied for and was accepted as a D.C (discipleship coordinator) in on my floor in my dorm and the next year promoted for the whole dorm. This role involved planning floor prayer gatherings, being available for counseling or spiritual guidance and working with other D.C's to plan spiritual events.
Unfortunately we were labeled with a different nickname around campus using the same acronym, designated Christians. People jokingly assumed that because we took on this role, we were more spiritual or superior to them. We weren't, we were just trying to help.
The same is true with Sunday School teachers, Youth Leaders, Worship Leaders and even Pastors. We aren't spiritual superheros...just people trying our best to help others grow in faith.
And yet, we are seen as people you delegate your spiritual growth to. Send your kids to Sunday School and their spiritual development is taken care of. Send them to youth camp and they will stay on the straight and narrow. Listen to Pastor Scott's sermon (even if it is just online) and you will be a good Christian.
But we can't outsource our spiritual growth. Classes and groups and sermons are tools, but they can't replace our own ownership of our spiritual health. Just like a personal trainer is helpful in physical fitness but the person is still responsible; so you are still the person in charge of your own soul.
There are no designated Christians...just Christians. We help each other, of course, but we also must own our own faith growth. Are you caring for your soul regularly? Are you taking ownership of your own spiritual health through daily study, prayer and time with God? You can't outsource it...you got to own it.
Many of you have likely seen the hit movie "Finding Nemo" in which the forgetful character Dory has to repeat over and over to "just keep swimming" as her mantra to never give up.
It reminds me of Hebrews 12:1 where we are encouraged to "let us run with endurance the race marked out for us."
I am not a runner. Unless a big dog is chasing me I try not to run; but years ago my wife ran in the Mini Marathon and trained hard for the 13 mile race. She ran almost every day, helping to work her way up so that when race day came in May she would be ready. And she did great. I was there as moral support, of course, but she did all the hard work...pushing through to the finish line ahead of her goal time. It was hard, she was sore and tired but she didn't quit. She endured.
That's what the author of Hebrews tells us to do. Keep going. Life will be hard. You will be tested. Don't quit. Keep going. Just keep running. One step at a time. One day at a time. One moment at a time. Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep going. Just keep running.
One day this race will be over, and that will be a good day; but for now we run.