We’ve returned to the beginning of the 4-year circuit once again! Today the world’s top athletes (and countless fans) have filled London, each of them hoping break to take home a medal.
And of course, these aren’t your average recreational players. These are men and women who have dedicated years—maybe most of their lives—to their sports. Each and every one of them wants to be the best, and a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics is the ultimate testament to their skills.
Few of us are pursuing our everyday goals and tasks with the unrelenting intensity that an Olympic athlete-in-training exhibits. But that drive and focus are characteristics that we can and should model in our daily spiritual walk, as the apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament:
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. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. — 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 (NIV)
As you tune in to watch Olympic events in the weeks to come, it’s appropriate to salute and celebrate the hard work and training that has brought each of these athletes to the games. And take a few minutes to reflect about your own spiritual “training”—your Bible reading, your devotional habits, your reactions to temptation, your relationships with others. If the apostle Paul were to observe your Christian walk, would he praise your determination to “get a crown that will last forever?”