Over the last week and half, my family has thoroughly enjoyed watching the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Cheering on our Canadian athletes as they “go for the gold” in their respective events causes us to swell with patriotic pride. Their laser focus, fierce determination and advanced skill on display for all to see is truly a sight to behold. As we sit watching them compete, we can only imagine the hours upon hours of training and discipline endured for a few fleeting moments of fame on the world stage.
As I reflect on the above, the following sobering questions come to mind concerning my spiritual performance in the eyes of Jesus:
- Do I “go for the gold” in my spiritual development and service for my Saviour in order to mentor believers and reach the lost?
- Am I spending time daily in His word, prayerfully communing with Him and living out the Fruits of the Spirit in my life?
- Do I seek fleshly glory here on earth or am I sowing in to the rewards of eternity?
- Will others see in me the same spiritual commitment, drive and discipline reflected in my everyday words, decisions and actions?
With respect to the temporal, I know that I am one to focus when it comes to the disciplines pertaining to my family and work. There are children that need to get places, lessons that need to be paid for and meals that need to be made. At work there are issues to resolve, finances to account for and future outcomes to project. Yet when I look at my relationship with Christ, including my devotional life, prayer times and praise experiences, sometimes I am remiss. The temporal invades the spiritual leaving my spiritual muscles lacking and weak.
Thankfully I am still a work in progress, and when I detour from the training plan the Holy Spirit is there to help me get back in shape. He is the best personal trainer.
Further, the Olympians show me things that I can relate to as a follower of Christ. I am sure that when the alarm goes off at 4:30 a.m. to train, there are mornings these athletes would rather just roll over and go back to sleep. But this is not an option for them. They simply get up with vigor and intensity, ready to attack their practice, because they want to be the best that they can be. They are intentionally focused on one goal: Gold.
Daughters, I encourage you today, myself included, to have that same laser focus when it comes to how we spiritually train and live out our lives for Christ; for the purpose of the gospel. Christ arrested our hearts at conversion and our purpose each day is transformation. Let us stay as disciplined as Paul commands us in Hebrew 12:1-3 (The Message):
“Do you see what this means – all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running – and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – He could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now He’s there, in the place of honour, right alongside of God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility He plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”