1 Corinthians 9: 24-25
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games 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.
I used to think that being a Christian equaled piety where meekness won the day. I used to strive to be plain nice and passive. Apostle Paul suggests a more active and striving stance because we are reaching for a crown that is eternal and far more valuable than I will ever know until I have obtained it. Just as Jesus gave us several parables concerning the Kingdom of God – comparing it to a valuable pearl or hidden treasure – that would compel a man to give all he has to obtain it, I should be “all in” to get this treasure. Running was always hard for me and took several years before it became part of my life since running is a requirement in the Army. A specific level of fitness was also required that made it necessary that I had discipline to work out regularly. Then I began to enter races and did fairly well. I have found that my training needed to ratchet up my running regimen if I wanted to do well in the races. I remember Bryan Clay’s testimony on God’s assurance when we strive for the crown that he has in store for us – “Give me your best and I will make it good enough”. That will always be a reminder for me in my struggles. My son, Michael, has an important medical appointment tomorrow that will determine his future opportunities and many saints are praying for a good outcome.
I will start each day setting an obtainable goal for me and aggressively go after it. Tomorrow, I will add energy to my task of showing my gratitude for all those who are praying for Michael but also show them that I have complete faith in the power of prayer. I will pray with all my heart and all my strength and God will make the result good enough.
My Father in Heaven, thank you for granting my family health. Thank you for giving us tons of examples showing how we should reach for the eternal crown you have in store for us. Make me an athlete who can run ahead and provide an example for others. I pray all this in Christ our Savior's name. Amen.