Bowl Week

And what a week it is. A different game every day. I must admit to watching the ending of the Who Cares Bowl Sunday night, because Florida International was trying to come back and beat Toledo with a field goal with four seconds to go – and did it!

We love competition. There is something about a close game, or a come back opportunity, or the underdog playing above themselves that just gets our adrenaline going. And, Lord knows we could all use some more adrenaline.

Then the Lord, in His own loving, gracious way lead me to the following passage this morning:

I Corinthians 9:24-25 – 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. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

He reminded me that I am in a race, a competition of my very own. As I asked Him to tell me more (dangerous I know) He asked if I really lived my life in such a way as to “win”, or did I just show up everyday and try to just deal with what comes my way. Do I train at all or just expect great results?

Not one of the teams playing this week got where they are just by showing up to play games. Each player on each team has spent countless hours in the weight room and the practice field, sweating and straining, burning and puking and putting their bodies through hell, just to be where they are this week. Was it worth it? Every one would say, “absolutely”! They have paid a price to have a chance to win their perspective races, and every player will “run in such a way as to win” whether the final score is in their favor or not.

Am I willing to do the same for my marriage “race”, my family “race”, and my walk with Jesus “race”? Am I a deliberate Christ follower, or husband or dad? What price have I paid in 2010 to be better than in 2009?

College football players torture themselves to win a trophy for the school’s trophy case and to have the pride of knowing they were a part of something great at least once in their lives. Each of us will someday stand before a majestic God and be asked what we did to lead, love and shepherd our “flock” and whether we played to win – the “prize” will be worth it all!

Play to Win,