“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
-Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
Over the past several months, the U.S. has become endeared to its new distance running hero, 25-year-old phenom Ryan Hall. Ever since he smoked the elite competition at the U.S. Olympic Men’s Marathon Trials in New York last November and set a new Trials record in only his second marathon ever, the running community has pinned its hopes and expectations on Hall, predicting without hesitation that he will medal this year in Beijing.
No pressure, or anything.
Good thing Ryan Hall can handle pressure. For him, it’s simple: There is no pressure. While it is true that he is the one responsible for training and racing at the Games, the results remain out of his control. He can’t control his competition, the weather, or any number of outside factors. Thus, it is not his place to worry about anything beyond what the Lord has called him to do. He simply must do the best he can and leave the results up to God. It was like that when he ran in the Olympic Trials in November, after which he said: “I honestly didn’t have the goal to win the Olympic Trials. My goal was to praise God.” And look what happened there.
What about you? Are you living under the weight of the pressure to perform? Do yourself a favor and let it go! The Lord has called us all to do one thing with our talents and gifts: bring Him glory. He doesn’t ask us specifically to win medals or championships. He asks us to do whatever we are doing with excellence for Him. And if He wants to bring you trophies and medals, He will do it, and He will do it for a purpose beyond your personal glory. If He doesn’t bring awards your way, He will teach you valuable lessons in the process of defeat. Either way, as long as you are competing for Him with all your heart, you can’t lose!
Today, let go of whatever pressure you are feeling. Hand it over to the One who has a plan for you and who has your best interest in mind. Do your best for Him and Him alone and let Him worry about the results. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
1. In what areas of your life do you feel the pressure to succeed?
2. How do you handle that pressure?
3. Does it have a negative impact on your life in the areas of health, relationships, performance, etc.?
4. Do you believe that the Lord has a plan for this area of your life?