Hurling, speed skating, biathlons, triathlons, snowboarding, downhill ski racing…more and more and faster and faster. Most of the Olympics that my husband and I just watched involved being fast. The fastest in the world! Watching the best athletes compete was mostly intriguing to me. But sometimes I admit that I would wonder at the whole idea of spending a ton of money and most of a young life devoted to one thing…winning a medal.
These Olympics involved so much sacrifice to get to a personal goal!
My thinking got noticed by the Lord God, Whom I love and serve. Many years ago I gave Him full permission to correct me, teach me and even challenge me. He does. This time, I found myself suddenly, mid-critical thought, hearing in my mind a strong connection to an Olympic word from the Bible. Olympics in the Bible? You judge.
“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.” (I Corinthians 9:24, The Message Bible).
Paul was a Roman citizen who had obviously attended huge and important athletic events in his time, Olympic in scope. He knew that this idea of Christians being single minded in their pursuit of what God has for them in their lives. “I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward- to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” (more of Paul in Philippians 3:14, The Message Bible),
I got really interested last evening, as I investigated further the race analogy in the Bible.
Gently, but very pointedly, the Lord was showing me that my life is to be going for the “gold”, (all that God has for me to know and experience). He has actually painted a word picture in His Word of an athletic race, and expected me to see that to cross the finish line I will need to truly give up what doesn’t get me there, and to become strong in what does.
I will certainly look at races in a different way, and hold real respect for those who set their focus on a goal. My goal is to go beyond just a “get into Heaven” place, and reach for all the blessings and promises that God has for me in Jesus. I am running to win!