Stay the Course
I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 3:14
I once talked with a gold medalist. She was a champion of champions, a record holder, a true finisher. As she described all the races she had won, I was most fascinated by the one she had lost. She had started this race much like all the rest, set in her lane waiting for the gun. She had asked the official where the finish line was, and he assured her that she would finish where she started. So the race began and she quickly moved into a position that would easily qualify her for the next round. However, as she approached the end, she eased up and coasted to the finish line, only to be suddenly overtaken by a lurking opponent. She had stopped short of the actual finish line because she had placed her faith in the assurance of a person who didn’t really have the answer she needed.
As coaches and athletes we often contend with crowd noise and fan banter. When we get distracted by the crowd or hear an unsolicited opinion, we lose our concentration. All too often we coast through the seasons of our careers, making just enough effort to satisfy the administration or the booster club, but failing to realize that we’ve settled for less than our best along the way. God has called us to be more than qualifiers, champions, and finishers. He wants more than a substandard performance. We must compete to win for His glory and not get swayed by crowd noise and the opinions of people. We must determine our own finish line and never stop short of it. Put your faith and finish in God, not in people.
1. Whose opinion is preventing you from striving for God’s best?
2. Where have you stopped short of the finish line because of the opinions or thoughts of others?
3. Is your faith and finish in God or people?
Extra Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24–29; Galatians 5:7–8
Lord, I pray that I will ignore the voices and banter of the crowd and replace them with Your voice of truth. Amen.