Some years ago, I ran a marathon. I don’t really like running, but I did it, and the experience taught me many life lessons.

First of all, I was ill prepared for the distance. I had run a half marathon, and did fine. My training, it seems, wasn’t geared for a full marathon. I did finish, unlike 8,000 others who were even less prepared, but I was in pain, dehydrated and uncontrollably emotional. I wasn’t prepared for the race.

When it comes to life and ministry, how do we want to run the race? And how do we want to finish? None of us wants to diminish mentally, or have stress ravage our minds and bodies. We don’t want a failed marriage, or have to use a walker to get around in our 70s.

We all want to be vibrant, healthy, and full of life, sharp as a tack and possessing the wisdom of Solomon. Do we think that is possible? Our very design by God makes it possible. How much more possible for us who have the Spirit of God living inside of us?

After living in Mediocre Land for most of my life, I decided I wanted to live in Extraordinary Land—after all, Jesus came to give us abundant (i.e., extraordinary, remarkable) life. That applies to every aspect of our lives.

How was I going to lead others to abundance when I was so stressed out that my health was affected? Something had to change. I needed to get into training.

We all have areas that fall short of remarkable. Will we allow that to be OK? Will we accept mediocre as abundance?

Watch Maintaining a Healthy Body from The Foursquare Church.

One way or another, things change in life. Whether it is your age, your balance sheet or the oil in your car, things change. Most things change whether you want them to or not.

Let’s take our place and determine, with the mind of Christ, what will change and how it will change. Let’s make an intentional decision to live in health and vitality for our entire lives. Here are a few things that will facilitate positive change:

  • Rest: This includes de-stressing, relaxation, recuperation, days off and even weeks off.
  • Water: Drink 64 oz. minimum per day.
  • Laughter: Have some fun, and find enjoyment in life.
  • Food: There’s a reason for the saying “you are what you eat.” Eat wisely.
  • Exercise: Find something you enjoy and sweat a little, often.

Aging isn’t avoidable. But decaying is optional. We have a choice to live in a healthy way that will combat deterioration.

With God, all things are possible for him who believes. You have a destiny to reach. You have people to take with you along the way. Join me not only in finishing well, but also in running the race well.

By: Terry Miller, lead pastor of Hope Chapel (Orange Coast Foursquare Church) in Costa Mesa, Calif., and certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). For more of his healthy living tips, visit totallifepursuit.org.