“Olympic Gold”

Read: 1 Corinthians 9:19-27

This past Sunday during a church league softball game I hit a ball to the outfield which got past the outfielder and went all the way to the fence. This occurrence required me to run at top speed all around the bases only to be thrown out when I got three feet from home base. I have felt that run now for the last three days.

I do exercise almost daily, but I don’t exercise in the same way that I ran around those bases, therefore my body is not accustomed to it. As I have watched Gabby Douglas, Micheal Phelps, and others this week at the Olympics, I have been impressed with the amount of preparation and training it took to get them to this point. Without that dedication and commitment none of those athletes would have made it to these Olympic games.

As you read 1 Corinthians 9 and you hear what Paul writes, did you realize that he actually knew about the Olympics. The ancient Olympic games started in Olympia, Greece in the 8th century B.C.. Although Paul didn’t have four or five T.V. channels to watch the action he surely knew the “strict training” it took to be a part of even those early games.

In this passage he relates that to our spiritual lives. He encourages us to do all that we can, just like the athlete, to finish our spiritual journey strong. In many ways he is encouraging us to apply these principles of growth to our own lives, our families lives, and the goal of reaching others with the good news of Jesus Christ.

We are not doing it for a gold medal and a physical prize, but a crown of eternity in heaven that will last forever. And along with that we are leaving an ongoing legacy here on earth of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Our name may not be splashed across the headlines, but we can make a big difference.

Last week I was on vacation and did not get to watch much of the first week of the Olympics. This week I am watching and I am impressed with what I see. Since I will never win a gold medal in the Olympic games, I hope my own dedication to following Jesus will leave a mark on this world. And I hope that for each of you as well.

Make it personal: For athletes it always helps to have goals and other things to push towards. It can help us in our spiritual lives as well. Set some goals of different ways you can grow closer to Jesus. Bible Study, Prayer, Life Groups, Christian Ed., Church attendance, and others.

Blessings as you run the race,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church