Justin Danielson, minister, Parkview Christian Church
With the Olympics underway there will be all kinds of competitions. Some sports I have never played or maybe even heard of. I enjoy watching people compete from the joy of victory to the tears of defeat. One of my favorite moments is the receiving of medals and hearing our national anthem being played. You can see the relief on the athletes’ faces. They have put in the hard work and dedication to their sport for many years, and it all builds up for that moment.
No coach ever sends their athlete out to lose. They help train and teach them for their event to win. A gold medal is the desire to be put around their neck. The top of the podium is where they want to be standing. Having their national anthem played is what they want to hear.
Let’s break down a passage written by Paul to help us see a correlation between the athlete and the Christian. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 says, “24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
So run that you may obtain it – Runners run with a goal in mind to finish the race well. They have practiced their event over and over. Christians, we need to have goals for our walk with the Lord. Some specific goals are having a daily Bible reading plan, spending time in prayer, helping a neighbor, making church attendance a priority, making and multiplying disciples, and sharing your faith with a friend or co-worker. Keep your eyes on the prize -Jesus – and finish the race well in Heaven.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard