“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. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. “
One of the biggest fans of the Olympics I ever knew was a self-avowed couch potato. His home was filled with Olympic memorabilia. Some of the items he had purchased himself at the L.A and Atlanta games. Others came from auctions, flea markets and garage sales. He loved the games. He had never been athletic. All he would ever be was a spectator.
Where sports are concerned, the vast majority of us are spectators. Personally, I like soccer. My son and I have been to a few L.A. Galaxy games and I watch the sport on television when I can. But I have no illusions about ever getting in the game.
The Christian life is different. St. Paul, who must have been a fan of the athletes of his day, encouraged the Christian to engage the life of faith as an athlete who trains for competition. There are no spectators in the life of faith. This does not mean that salvation is earned or that faith is calculating. What it does mean is that a living faith leads to loving service as naturally as the rising sun spreads it’s light.
The Christian life is lived out through regular worship, witness, learning and service. In these ways we exercise faith, get off the couch, and get in the game.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”