2 July 2017
Have you ever run a race or taken part in a competition? Or, have you ever witnessed someone preparing for a competition? Then, you must know how much it takes for one to train to a winning standard, to train to win. The discipline of an athlete comes in the form of adherence to rigorous routines. In watching what they consume down to a T. In making sure that they are up at the crack of dawn, every morning, to make it to one training after another. One must be very disciplined in training to make sure that they are in the best condition to succeed.
For those of us who have had to inject such discipline into our lives know how hard it is to stay disciplined and focused. It is a challenge both physically and mentally to keep up with such rigorous preparation. There are always other things calling out to us, be it spending more time sleeping in, eating that wonderfully fragrant chocolate chip cookie just calling your name, or even social pressure such as wanting to hang out with friends or family. However, these all come at the expense of achieving the best condition possible, to achieve a win.
The athletes who win are ultimately those who are most disciplined, and who work the hardest. They are the ones able to resist the temptation of things which would take them away from their prize, that extra cookie, those 5 seconds of the snooze button. Similarly, for a Christian to be disciplined in training for the Race of Life is to be able to resist the worldly temptations and instead train our body, mind, and soul, to follow in the way of the Lord. The prize we are running towards is Eternal Life, provided by Abba Father. And the temptations are the ways of the world. Much like the things which would tempt an athlete, they are much more attractive in the moment, compared to a 6am run at the track. However, keeping the end goal in mind, discipline would always be the better choice. Loving the world seems very attractive at times, and we are very often keen to give in to temptations. However, we must always keep our end goal in mind, and remember that self-discipline, and adherence to God’s word is the way to finish first and finish well. As the Bible reminds us in 1 John 2:15-17,
“15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”