1 Corinthians 9:24-27
24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
As a kid, I was extremely competitive in everything, wanting to win at any cost (my late grandmother had to curtail my emotional outburst on one occasion when I flipped over the board game after realizing I was getting ready to lose!). As a parent, however, I felt it was my duty to be more politically correct when it came to winning and losing. And so, I began buying into the lie that our children should “just have fun.” But this week, a shift in my soul happened. No longer was I willing to settle for a loss. NO. I wanted to win!
Like many of those soccer “players” (and I use the term loosely), I used to be a follower of Jesus who was content to jog along half-heartedly, waiting for someone to pass the ball so I could kick it at random to another player (on mine or the opposing team). But after years of training to be a disciple, The Holy Spirit has developed a passion in my soul to GO make more disciples. When I first stepped onto the field of my calling I did so very tentatively, with little purpose in my running. But now I am beginning to see the eternal prize….
Each day I have the choice to sit in the stands, warm the bench, lollygag around on the field OR play for the prize. So do you. Do you prefer to “just have fun” or do you want to win? I want to WIN!!! So I must remain disciplined in order to keep running, otherwise I might be disqualified from the team.