Photo by The U.S. Army
I love the Olympics, winter in particular. I love the breath-taking talent of the ski jumpers, the cow bells cheering on the lugers and downhill skiers, and of course, I love watching the partners figure skating.
Have you ever thought about how much work goes into those few mere seconds or minutes of athletic display? With their particular Olympic games repeating only every four years, these men and women dedicate years of practice to often seconds of potential glory.
Stellar athletes' lives are dedicated to their sport. They wake up early and head to bed early, they shun foods some of us eat daily, and while some of their friends are out having a good time, they're at the rink or the slopes, perfecting their game.
We, too, are athletes.
Yes, we are also mothers, and friends, and neighbors, and hard workers, but we are also in a competitive game, and that game is called Life.
"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. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. -1 Corinthians 9:24-27"
We compete for the glory of God here on earth. As we battle our opponents, both visible and not-so-much, we hope in the assurance that our side does win, and that the evil side does lose.
But we need to make our team as big as possible. We want millions to relish in the glory of Goodness that was displayed at the cross.
Photo by Kevin Dooley
When you're in the midst of cooking dinner, or running errands, or answering email, are you in training? As an athlete in the most crucial game of all time, are you taking care to build up muscle strength, intake healthy food and water, and get the rest you need?
It's not legalism, it's staying in shape. Read your Bible, converse with the Father through prayer, enjoy community with like-minded friends, and take special notice of your relationships with those who believe differently. A little every day keeps your body fine-tuned.
Because when the game gets really hard — like in the Olympics — only the strong enjoy the thrill of playing. Would you rather play in the game or watch from the sidelines?
I know where I'd like to be. So I better keep working out.
What does athletic training look like in your life?