As we gather around our tv sets to watch the Olympic games we will hopefully see Great Britain win many medals. We’ll be cheering as we watch athletes we’ve never heard of, competing in sports we’ve never seen before, come close to winning the prized gold medal.
Those athletes will have given their whole lives for the cause. They will have been ferried to training by their devoted parents. They’ll have sacrificed the nights out at university to ensure they were fresh for the 5am start the next day. They’ll have gone through real pain and hardship to get where they are today.
But as we look at the elite athletes we need to spare a thought for those who aren’t there. Those who missed out on the qualifying time. Or weren’t selected. And that’s without thinking of the people who did not have the discipline, self-sacrifice and single-mindedness to pursue the ultimate goal.
The Christian life is compared to an athlete’s training on many occasions in the Bible. It is compared to a race that we need discipline for if we are to reach the finishing line. And this leads us to think about the way we’re going about living our lives. The Bible tells us that we need to persevere and work through hard times because the ultimate goal is within reach and more glorious than even an Olympic gold medal.
If we call ourselves Christians then we need to ensure that we are continually moving forward. We need to be disciplining ourselves in reading scripture, praying, attending church and keeping ourselves away from ungodly things.
The Christian life is one of discipline, self-sacrifice and single-mindedness to pursue the ultimate goal.
And the wonderful thing is that we have the greatest trainer. Jesus has travelled the road before us. He suffered to the point of death so that he could restore our relationship to God. And he gives us everything we need to complete the race.
Will you join us this summer to find out more about him?