24 “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.25 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.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
If you’re like many Americans these past several days, you’ve been somewhat captivated by the Olympic trials. Television has broadcasted around the clock the incredible athleticism of America’s finest athletes, competing against each other for a select few coveted spots in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. It has been inspiring to say the least to witness dreams coming true as runners, swimmers, gymnasts and more reach their life-long goals of becoming an Olympian. Many fight through painful injuries and have overcome years of grueling training to be where they are today. It’s truly incredible!
As young Gabby Douglas was interviewed after receiving the news that she too was going to London on the Women’s Gymnastics Team, her few words said it all:
“I give all the glory to God!”
Self-discipline and perseverance could not be more accurately described than through some of these elite athletes who have spent their lives refining their skills, competing in such a way to be the best, and giving their all to accomplish their goals. I couldn’t help but see the beautiful reward of perseverance in Gabby Douglas as she gave all the honor and glory to God for where she now stands.
Although you and I are not competing for Olympic standing, we are all in a race. The race we run has a much greater prize awaiting us at the finish line if we discipline ourselves and persevere. Our race consists of a steadfast, determined, fixed and focused gaze on Jesus Christ, the author and perfector of our faith. If we persevere through the pain, through the set-backs, through the difficulty that tempts us to throw in the towel and give up, if we press on in faith, we will obtain the crown that will last forever, the crown of eternity in heaven with our Savior. Believe it or not, there were days when the gold medalists wanted to quit; days when they struggled to believe that it was all worth it. If they would have given in to the lie that sought to defeat them, they would have failed to realize the beauty of perseverance at work within them. Don’t stop now! Each day you persevere in faith, the beauty of Christ shines brighter in your life.