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“COST OF AN IRONMAN” – Nov 2

November 2, 2013

“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”  Luke 14:28

Triathlon Packing Plan

My personal triathlon journey started with the goal to just finish one.  I am two years and about $2,500 into this journey, after buying a road bike, a tri-bike, a membership at the City Pool, all the associated paraphernalia, and registration fees.  When I started this journey, I was not completely aware of the cost.  That ignorance was mostly due to my failure to do the accounting.  However, I believe I might have discovered my cost limit regarding the sport of triathlon.

I have flirted with the idea of stepping up to the next triathlon distance for my third year.  The next distance is the half-ironman or the 70.3.  I am apprehensive but not about combining the 1.2 miles (1.9 km) swim and the 56 miles (90 km) bike.  My concern dwells with the half-marathon run, 13.1 miles (21.1 km), at the end of those disciplines.

the tattoo dtm's debating...

I have vacillated over that run.  I have made plans to do the race and then reconsider.  I read some more,  work out some more and I reconsider my reconsideration.  I have hemmed and hawed for about two months.

Additional motivation has come through reading blogs and watching videos of the recent World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.  I am enamored with the idea of being able to say that I am an Ironman; at least a 70.3 Ironman.  I think it would be cool to put the M-dot logo of Ironman on my pick-up even if it is qualified by the 70.3 distinction.

So, I decided to do it and I told a bunch of people that I was all-in. The Boise Ironman 70.3 is the event I have chosen as my inauguration into the half-ironman world.ironman%2070%203%20boise%20eventpagelogo%20200x70

However, their registration website surprised me.  The registration fee is $250. Registration fees that are less than $100 are what I have become accustomed  – $250 might just be too much.  I don’t know if it is worth it.  I have set off on this Boise Ironman goal without knowing all the costs.

I don’t know if I am willing to pay the price to become an Ironman.

Ironman bannerJesus taught that true discipleship must include planning.  A follower of Christ must be sure that they are willing to pay the full price of discipleship.  We are encouraged to consider the cost of the sacrifices we are willing to incur as a disciple of Christ.

Jesus calls us to give up everything.

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.  (Luke 14:26-27)

The only way I know how to count the costs of following Christ is to meditate on thought experiments:

Would I renounce Christ for the life of my wife?
Would I renounce Christ to stop the torture of my son or daughter?

Some followers of Christ have had to make that decision.

Would I keep my faith silent to keep my freedom?
Would I keep my faith silent to keep my wealth?

Some followers of Christ have had to make that decision.

Would I deny my convictions for friendship?
Would I deny my convictions for peace?

Some followers of Christ have had to make that decision.

Would I give up my life for the sake of the cross?

I don’t know what my reaction to these scenarios would be if I were to actually have to face them.  However, I know how I hope that I will react.  I hope that I am willing to pay all the potential costs for Christ.  I know what Jesus wants from me – everything.  That does not mean he will take it but it means that I treasure Him more than anything else.

The true disciple loves Christ more than all His blessings.

Whoever loves father and mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:37-39)

If I vacillate over the costs of discipleship in a mental exercise, there is a problem.  If I am not willing to pay the price in a thought experiment, then I will probably not be willing to pay the price on the day of the actual test.  We must be planners for the potential costs of our faith.  If we are not willing to pay the price for the strong tower then it probably won’t be there in our time of need.

If you are not willing to pay the costs, then you might not be a disciple after all.

Casper Ten Boom

Casper Ten Boom (Photo credit: Corrie ten Boom Museum)

When I consider these scenarios, I doubt my strength to withstand the test.  I know that I am weak.  I know that my strength will not withstand any of thought experiment scenarios within my strength.  The hope of my response does not rest in my strength.  My hope rests in the strength of God.  I have assurance that I will be willing to pay the cost of a true disciple on the day of trial because my Father will give me the strength when I need it.  Corrie ten Boom’s father, Casper ten Boom, expressed this truth beautifully:

And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need-just in time.  (Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place)

I may not be willing to pay the price of being an Ironman, but I do know that I am willing to pay the price of a true Disciple of Christ because my Father, who knows what I need, will give me the strength . . .  just in time.

PRAYER: Lord, you know the doubt that plagues me when I contemplate trials.  You know the uncertainty when I wonder how I would react to the same persecutions that my brothers and sisters in Christ have endured.  Father, I trust you.  You know my heart better than I do.  You know that I love you.  Prepare me to walk down any path that you give me.  I will trust you to provide the strength that I need – just in time.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

12 comments

  1. Reblogged this on onlyrevealed.


    • Thank you for the reblog. It is much appreciated. God Bless!
      JD


      • That’s quite alright, it was truly thought provoking. God bless with all your endeavours.


  2. […] Post: “COST OF AN IRONMAN” – Nov 2 “2014 Resolutions” – Dec […]


  3. Thank you for this reminder. I am stepping out in faith with a new chapter, making my art business also an official art ministry. There are those around me that do not understand and the cost may be close ties to those people, but I know this is Jesus calling. There is always a cost of following Him. Yes and Amen.


  4. Hey brother great post. I live in Kona and I am amazed at the commitment these individuals have. The sacrifice is insane. I always think how amazing and beneficial for so many (as opposed to self) that type mindset would be for Gods Kingdom!

    I pray the Holy Spirit will pave the way for you and you follow Gods path for your life!


  5. Thank you for this devotional


  6. Only $250?? You’re lucky. All the 70.3 races in NZ are +$400.

    Start saving now by not having that Starbucks or burger. It’ll be easy to find. Otherwise it all would have been a waste.

    Now I’m not Christian, but I do reckon He’d have something to say about you bailing out just before the test…!


    • Yeah, I might just have to deal with reality. I am beginning to recover from my initial sticker shock. I read on one blog where a guy signed up for 3 ironman races for next season and paid $1,400. It is hard to be cheap and still compete.


      • True. Don’t lose sight of the fact that the first ironman was just a couple of fellas going for ‘a bit of a bash’ around Hawaii 😉

        You don’t have to pay anyone to do an unsanctioned event. Heck, do it in NZ and I might even join you. 🙂


  7. This is indeed “a hard saying”! I pray that I, too, would receive the power of the Holy Spirit promised to us who believe that we might stand. I am amazed when I read of so many early Christians who prayed either to die for the furtherance of the kingdom or welcomed persecution and yet, somewhere deep within my heart I know that Grace given would no doubt be available to all…I guess my prayer must be “Jesus, I trust in You”,


  8. I love the point that we have to be “planners for the potential costs of our faith.” It is one reason why we discipline ourselves and build virtue in our lives–to ultimately declare that Christ is all.



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