Go for gold

This week, I read about an excellent athlete in several sports who decided to concentrate on running in hopes of going to the London Olympics.

Happily, she was chosen for the Canadian track team at the Olympics.  Now, she hopes to win a medal – maybe even a gold.

She made a choice.  She would abandon her other sports loves – and everything else – to focus on one great goal.

Naturally, it takes discipline and hard work to do that.  It’s a point the apostle Paul makes in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, using the picture of a runner training for a race.  He says:

“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!  All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”

I am not naturally disciplined.  I float from one thing to another.  I am also a procrastinator, putting off doing things until I absolutely have to.

Over the years, I have pounced on different methods or ideas to bring me closer to God and his power.  This has been good because I have grown in my understanding of God and myself.  Yet I have not been consistent – disciplined – in following through.

Paul is saying that there is no shortcut to growing close to God.  I must seek him with all my heart – and I must be disciplined as I seek him.

Is worshiping Christ my main preoccupation?  Do I want to please him above all?  Or, will I allow myself to be drawn away by other pleasant things?

Paul’s words call me: “Run to win!”  Go for gold!

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