I have been glued to the TV every night for the past week. Phelps, Franklin (can you believe she is only 17!), Women’s Gymnastics, Misty May, Oscar Pistorius — the list goes on. If I dare to turn on the TV while I’m getting ready for work, the Today Show mesmerizes me with athlete interviews and updates.
Many of you have also been captivated by the sheer strength and talent of the athletes. It’s such an emotional experience watching Team USA receive the gold–and that’s just watching it on TV thousands of miles away.
Not to be cliche, but this verse comes to mind when watching these games:
“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.” -1 Corinthians 9:24
In the Olympics, only one athlete receives the gold in each event. Though silver and bronze are incredible achievements, the goal is to get the gold.
Notice that in this verse the writer, Paul, does not simply say, “Get the prize (or gold!).” Instead Paul says, “Run in such a way as to get the prize.” It’s not necessarily all about the prize, but the way in which you obtain the prize. The NASB translation says it this way: “Run in such a way that you may win.” The goal is to be victorious, but the focus is on how you will endure in order to win the prize.
Even more interesting is that the “prize” isn’t Salvation, because as we know Salvation is a free gift. The prize is a reward or “wages” for the work accomplished. And even so, it is not for one sole person as it is in the Olympics. It is for all believers.
In this series “An Amazing Life” we’re reminded that the amazing life is available to us right now. As Paul says we are to RUN — not walk, stop, or sit down — towards the prize. What does that mean for us today? Well, it means we shouldn’t take our days for granted or side idly on the sidelines handing out water bottles (hypothetically). We’re in the race. With the strength of Christ we will endure through the good, the bad, and the messy.