When I think of training, my mind often wanders to almost every underdog movie from the 80's and early 90's. Maybe you know what I mean.
Think of Rocky...any Rocky, really. Have you seen that movie? Yea, I thought so. If you're not familiar with the movies, let me bring you up to speed with Rocky III...the greatest Rocky movie of all times. Rocky Balboa is the champion of the world. He beat Apollo Creed for the world title. He is then challenged by the newcomer Clubber Lang, played by the illustrious Mr. T. After avoiding him for months, the two finally meet in a showdown that ends in tragedy for Rocky. He is beat. Really, he is creamed by Clubber Lang. Defeated, Rocky falls from grace, depressed and angry with himself. But encouragement comes from an unlikely place: Apollo Creed, his old opponent. Creed pushes Rocky to get back on his feet and reclaim his title.
What follows is a staple of underdog movies of this era: the classic training montage to the classic theme song. The montage lasts three minutes and shows Rocky go from down and out to the hardened warrior. In the climax of the film, Rocky defeats Clubber Lang and is once again the champion of the world.
What Rocky knew is that to defeat his formidable opponent, Clubber Lang, he had to train hard. He had to work hard to be able to overcome the odds and defeat his enemy. Do you see where I'm going with this? Now, I'm sure Sylvester Stallone didn't intend to have such strong spiritual parallels, but we can get so much out of that.
As spiritual warriors, we cannot simply go into battle against our opponent. What we need to realize is that our enemy is fierce and strong and on our own merits, we cannot beat him. But we have been given help. We are not alone in our fight. God is with us and he has given us tools to help defeat the enemy.
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