I came across this quote today while doing research for an upcoming message at the end of our "Warrior" series here at Northridge. While it is certainly applicable for people engaging in physical combat, I believe there are many levels to its meaning. It describes the level of preparation necessary for us to succeed in all areas of life. This quote also gives credence to the difficulty of the paths that lie in front of us. If we do not push ourselves to the limits (and beyond) of our capabilities, we will not be able to endure when the real moment of trial comes upon us.
From experience, I can attest to the fact that this positive return is very rarely found without some personal investment. Most people who are recognized as "overnight success stories" have actually been working for years to be prepared for this moment of opportunity. If we want to be people who engage in life and find victory, we've got to work hard in the stages leading up to battle or we won't be tested enough to endure.