Present but not Competing!

In 1972, Eddie Hart was a man on a mission. His mission? To win Olympic gold in the 100 meter race to be held in Munich, Germany. At the 1972 Olympic Trials, he tied the world record of 9.9 seconds in the 100-meter dash. And that set the stage for a showdown with the the top-ranked sprinter in the world, the Bionic Man, Valeri Borzov of the Soviet Union. It was a showdown that never happened. After easily winning his qualifying heat in the morning (the 100-meter final was to be run that afternoon) - the U.S. sprint coach gave Hart and two other sprinters the wrong start time for the race. So when they arrived back at the stadium for their warm ups - they realized the race was already over and Borzov the gold medalist! I cannot imagine how gut-wrenching that must have been for Hart! To be present - but not competing!

The Bible often uses the analogy of a race to describe the Christian's journey of grace. For example, in 1 Corinthians 9:24 we read, "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." In addition, Hebrews 12:1-2 admonishes us to "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Are you running the race to win? Or are you allowing the stuff of this world to hinder you and sin to easily entangle you? Take a moment and think on the race. Are you present - but not competing?

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