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Training Well

August 9, 2022

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11, NIV).

I received this email recently from a doctor I had not seen in years: “It has been years since I did my training at UT. I finished in 2006. My wife remembers your Becky very well from her time with CMDA Wives Club. Since then, my walk with the Lord has been tough and even half-hearted at times. We have been through a couple of family setbacks that have challenged my faith through the years. We lost my wife’s brother tragically during my intern year. My father was diagnosed with cancer just before I finished residency. He battled for a while and was healed of the first cancer but died of cholangiocarcinoma in 2016. God was there through all of that and readily apparent in precious moments. Despite that, I, like most I suspect, have still struggled with my commitment to Him even after all He has done. Of late, He has been really coming after me and has my attention and my whole heart to the best of my present ability and faith. Through my career, I have not considered myself an evangelist and have been fearful to be seen as someone proselytizing a captive audience like my patients. But God is love. He’s been patient with me. Whereas before, I think I was ignoring nudges from Him, I have started responding and speaking up with my patients when He comes to mind in the moment.” —Michael Delk, MD

This doctor’s story reminds me of my marathon training.

Training for long distant runs takes a long time. Developing our walk in Christ takes a long time.

If we are intentionally training to become like Christ, just like in marathon training, there will be times we run like the wind. We feel God running with us; our faith is strong; our sight is on heaven. Glorious times of growing in Him.

And then there are times of injury, either because we do something stupid or the world puts a rock in our path. We fall; we hurt; we lose sight of our objective; the Christ with whom we had run so well seems far ahead and impossible to catch.

Then once again we find Him at our side, and the run is good again. It’s even better because we learned from our fall and became better runners.

And then we fall again and look for our Lord to run beside us again, and, after a while, we find Him there again, and we run stronger and longer than ever before.

The doctor above is training well now, as will we all if we are committed to get back up and run again with Christ every time we fall.

Dear Father,
Thank you for picking me up over and over, so that I may become, step by step, and fall by fall, more like the Christ with whom I run.

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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