Gold Medal Life

 

“So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us”.  Hebrews 12:1

“The scriptures train God’s people to do all kinds of good deeds”.  2 Timothy 3:17

The Olympics are behind us. I really enjoyed watching the various competitions. Gymnastics were my favorite by far. I can not help but be continually amazed and inspired by the discipline of the athletes, no matter what sport I am watching. They dedicate their life to their sport, with the intention of becoming the best.

No one would take them seriously, nor would they experience much success if they casually worked out and ‘hoped” they would do well if ever tested. Imagine a gymnast training with a casual mentality:

“I did the triple twisting flip really well last Friday.  Glad I accomplished that. Hopefully I can do it that well at the Olympics.”

If you watched the gymnastics competition, you most likely heard the story of Aly Raisman:  She made the decision to come back after the 2012 Olympics, to compete again in the 2016 Olympics. When she showed up at the gym, her coach would not even look at her until he was convinced she was truly “all in”.  It’s no surprise that to become an Olympic athlete, one has to be dedicated, sincere, and willing to do more than expected, or even desired.  One has to practice every day, all day, and then some more. I doubt they ever walk away from a practice thinking “I never need to practice again.”

So we get it, we’re impressed, and we applaud their efforts and successes.  BUT…

what if we applied the Olympic attitude and discipline to our spiritual life?  I think it’s easy to illustrate the casual attitude:  

-I might go to church, if my schedule allows;

-I read through the Bible once, so I have a pretty good idea of what it says;

-I believe in God;

-I try to be a good person, but hey, nobody’s perfect

-I give money to worthy causes when I have some extra

-2 years ago I filled in for a Sunday School teacher

-you fill in the rest

I hesitate to make a similar list for a disciplined walk with God, only because a “gold medal” walk is a matter of the heart and soul.  It is drenched in God’s grace and mercy…it is NOT a to do list, or a list of rules – because face it, we will never be good enough through our own efforts. We all know where we, as individuals, fall short, and when our practice, training and discipline are less than.  I’d rather let the Holy Spirit guide you (He’s a little more qualified).   I want to inspire you today to examine your own life…I want to motivate you to do better, to be better.  Step out of your circle of ordinary and strive for an extraordinary life, dedicated to pleasing God, and being used by God to make a difference in your world.  It may take a little more discipline and practice…it’s definitely a daily thing and it goes way beyond the walls of your church.  It shows up in your family, your workplace, your conversations, your attitudes, and your decisions.   And it REALLY helps to know the ins and outs, so be sure study the manual.  Why settle for mediocrity when you can

 

GO FOR THE GOLD!


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