Olympic dedication

I saw an advertisement in Sports Illustrated recently. It featured the U.S. Olympic hurdler, Lolo Jones. The caption said, “She trained 12 years for an event that lasts 12 seconds.”

It got me to thinking.

Olympic athletes sacrifice so much. Everything they do is directed toward the single goal of winning a medal. They completely amend their diets. They dedicate hours and hours to training. They forego all sorts of things they enjoy — television, movies, family events, vacations — all for the sake of their goal. They uproot their very lives to move to a place where they can obtain better training. They sacrifice just about everything — all for the sake of a trinket.

In 1 Corinthians the apostle Paul compares the dedication of athletes to the dedication of Christians.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” — 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

If an athlete can exercise self-control in all things for the sake of something that will eventually turn to dust, why can’t Christians seem to exercise an equal amount of self-control and dedication for the sake of something that is priceless and eternal?

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About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

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