Monday, July 27, 2009

What's the Goal, anyway?

I always have a goal in mind when I go out to run. A certain amount of time or distance. I often get frustrated & discouraged by my lack of reaching the goal. Sometimes I lower my standard & settle on a lesser goal. For example, for this half marathon, I remind myself I can always *walk* it. I don't really need to run because I am not in it to win. I have lowered my personal goal dramatically.

If I was really in it to win, I would not so easily give up or lower my standard, right? So in this life, who's goal is it? Are we lowering our standards to accomplish our own goals? OR are we keeping the goal & finish line in sight as we run God's race?

I know the spirit of competition is often seen in the negative in Christian circles. But why? We *want* to win or earn the *prize* don't we? Oh...but we are supposed to be serving God selflessly, right? Admit it, do we or do we not want to hear God tell us, in that day of judgment; "Well done, my good and faithful servant." ?

There is a huge difference when you are running the race to finish & when you are running to WIN! When you run to win you give over and above what you may believe you are capable. You push yourself to train harder & faster. Always wanting to move forward & show improvement. You feel disappointed if you take a step backward in your training. You take special care of what enters your body because you know it is your fuel. You want to be able to perform to an optimum in the best health.

If you are training simply to finish...well then it does not matter if you are slower one day to the next. It does not matter if you are too tired to run. If you feel discouraged, there is no motivation to push through. We do not pay as much attention tow hat we put in our bodies, we don't expect to be in tip top shape. You already know you are going to finish. It does not matter how you finish.

Do you think Olympians train w/ the goal of getting the Bronze medal? Of course not! They train for the Gold. Their goal is to be #1!

I think in our Christian lives, many times our attitude is simply to finish this life. Where is the motivation to excel? Our life is not just a race...I believe it is God's race. He encourages us to run as if we are going to get the prize, even though we know only ONE gets the prize. We are here not only to serve, but to serve in the most excellent way possible. Pushing past the obstacles and the discouragement. Taking care how we treat our 'temple' & what we allow to enter it. Next time you feel like indulging, practice extra self control. Next time you feel like slowing down, push a little faster instead. See what happens....

1Cor 9:24 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.

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