Our family has really enjoyed watching the Olympic Games. It’s been inspiring to see the results of the amazing dedication and hard work of sportsmen and women from many nations of the world. That’s what I always find staggering – the work, sacrifice, self-control, self-denial & training that goes on day after day for months and years leading up to an event such as this. And then, in a matter of seconds or minutes the event is over and only one person – the best of the best – wins the ultimate prize: a Gold Medal.
The dedication of these men and women is to be admired and emulated by those of us who live under the name of Jesus Christ. Why is that people will go to great lengths to win a temporary prize but not lift a finger to win something eternal? The Apostle Paul uses the Olympic Games of his day as a challenge that is still worth taking on:
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
Running to win; strict training; self-denial and sacrifice – not popular concepts by any means! The majority will never live like this but they will admire those who do!