Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic Confession

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
1 Corinthians 9:24

I have to make a confession. I have broken my TV fast. For the past two weeks I have been watching a lot of television. I’ve been watching in the morning, throughout the day, even late at night into the early hours of the morning. I confess. I was addicted to the Olympics.

I loved it when the Americans did well. I taught the boys to chant USA as we cheered on our countrymen. Like most, I especially enjoyed Michael Phelps’ run of eight gold medals in swimming. As the days passed each race became more intense, we sat and watched to see if he could accomplish the impossible. When the final relay was won our family cheered as we realized we had just witnessed a historic sporting moment.

Paul in the Scriptures used various sports as illustrations of the Christian life. His favorite picture was that of a race with the idea that we run with perseverance until we finish the race.

I was thinking about Michael Phelps record setting eight gold medals. While there is no doubt he now ranks as one of the best athletes ever, he couldn’t have set the record by himself. He needed the help of his relay teammates. In fact, it was their extra effort that gained him a couple of those gold medals.

What a powerful example of the Christian life. We do our personal best but we can’t always do it on our own. We need our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our second mission at Christian Life Church is to connect people to people. You weren’t meant to be a Christian on your own. We all need people alongside of us encouraging, challenging, and praying for us as we run the race set before us.

While most of us will never receive a medal in this life, we run the race to win. We run to hear Him say, “Well done!” Keep on running! And run with passion!