Going, Going, Gone
So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.–2 Corinthians 4:18
When five-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe retired from competitive swimming at the age of 24 he said, “breaking records wasn’t as inspiring as it should have been.” As a teenager, Thorpe splashed into the swimming scene and swam to 13 world records from 1999 to 2002, becoming an international star after dominating at the Sydney Olympics.
Even with all the success, he realized the medals, titles, records, and accomplishments did not last long. The fans went home. The cameras were turned off. And Ian was left with an empty feeling that success cannot fill. The external stuff fades quickly. It is never enough.
It sounds crazy to focus on the unseen. If we can’t see it, then why did Paul encourage us to focus on it? He knew that world records do not last. As competitors, God desires for us to do our best for His glory. Whether it’s breaking 13 world records or just playing pick-up basketball, God wants us to play for Him. What are our motives? To win titles? Break records? Get trophies? Or play for Him?
1. What have you won in the past that was significant at the time, but now is no big deal?
2. Why is it so easy to focus on the seen? Why is it so hard to focus on the unseen?
3. What are three ways you can keep a focus on the unseen?
4. Who is a great example in your life who focuses on the unseen?
Proverbs 23:4-5; James 4:13-14
Lord, I desire to compete for You alone. I am resolved to focus on the unseen not the seen. Help me to remove things that blur my vision. Too often I dwell on the external stuff. Show me that all I need is You. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Let all the glory be Yours. Amen.