This weekend the Olympics will begin in China. The teams have been established and the athletes have been training for a number of years. For some of them they will enter a race and it will be over in ten seconds. Others will take hours to finish. It is a long awaited event that will have some athletes wearing gold around their necks while others will go home empty handed.
The Christian life is like the Olympics in some ways. Just as the athletes who complete train to win the prize, so the Christian has to train. We do not exercise the physical body, but we train mentally. We go to God’s word and read and study the scriptures in order that we can one day win a prize.
The prize the Olympian wins is made of gold, silver or bronze while our crown is one that is not made with hands and lasts forever. Paul said, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown of laurel that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-26)
The Olympian who competes and finishes fourth will not receive any kind of medal. I believe if I were participating I would rather finish fifth or later if I could not win a medal.
The Christian who does not run the race and finish will not get a crown either. It’s kind of sad to think that a person has for years trained and not been able to achieve a prize. It is sad for the Christian who allows Satan to get in his way and lose the race.
Where do you stand today? Are you putting the effort out to be the person God desires you to be? Are you training every day to renew your mind through prayer and bible study? Are you running the race or have you for some reason given up thinking that sin has caused you to be defeated.
After a spill, fall or hardship of some kind the athlete gets up and continues on. That describes the way we ought to be in our lives. Today run the race so that you can say as Paul did “I have run the race, I have kept the faith...”