Hebrews 12:1-2 “…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our face…”
I Corinthians 9:24-26 asks, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?” and adds, “Everyone who competes in the games [Olympics] goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.”
I love the Olympics! I am not usually a couch potato, but when the Olympics are airing, I schedule as much TV-time as possible. There is so much to take in—the brilliant opening ceremony; the diversity of the events and the athletes; the heart-warming commercials encouraging the athletes as well as the viewers to be their best; the personal stories about the various participants; the varied cultures of the countries involved; the medal count…
The majority of what we see on television during the broadcast of the Olympics is the actual competitive event. The race. What we only get a glimpse of through video clips and interviews, is the many hours of preparation and the pre-Olympic trials each athlete participates in to be ready for their Olympic event. We may get only a vague look at the physical and mental exercise each athlete goes through to get to continuous, consistent, and deliberate. No athlete got to this point—the honor being an Olympian—by being half-hearted or lackadaisical. Sure, some athletes are naturally gifted, but that gift has to be nurtured if one wants to become an Olympian. Otherwise, they remain mediocre—yes, gifted, but mediocre.
Salvation is a gift. A wonderful gift. But in order to be more than a mediocre Christian, we must nurture this gift. We must be constantly learning, growing, being challenged. We must exercise our spiritual muscles through continuous study of the Word, through consistent prayer, and deliberate exercise of our faith. The ultimate “prize” is the privilege of spending eternity in Heaven (Philippians 3:14, “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”), but to me, the gold medal is to win someone else to Christ so that they too can win the “prize.”
Today’s PF Women Blog has been written by Robin Davis of Winter Haven Calvary Church.
Robin and her husband (Andy) of almost 35 years have served in music ministry, church administration, and event planning since they were married. Her heart and passion for ministry has bled over into her role at the Peninsular Florida District office as she has facilitated the credentialing process for ministerial candidates for over 9 years. Robin will be entering a new ministry this fall as she goes into the public school classroom as a teacher and graduates from Southeastern University in December of this year with a degree in Secondary English Education and Reading and ESOL Endorsements. Robin and Andy have three adult children and eight grandchildren.