Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Promise of Crossing the Finish Line

I was telling my grandson Luke about the rigorous training athletes follow to pursue their Olympic dreams. Of course, that then led to a discussion about goal-setting and persistence.

I read once that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve proficiency in almost any challenging task. Ten thousand hours!!! That's nearly five years of full time work.* How often do I become discouraged if I haven't achieved my goal within a few months or even weeks! Do I even know what persistence is?

I want to get to the finish line. Yet, how do I overcome my own inertia and predisposition to slothfulness? I think it has to do with keeping my eyes on my Trainer Jesus Christ and following Him to the end. As instructed in Hebrews:

"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.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
~ Hebrews 12:2-3

As I watch and enjoy the Olympics, I want to keep this in mind. None of those respected athletes got where they were by focusing on others, but rather by focusing on improving their own times and endurance. On the course, they run their own race and, in the end, they hope to be the winner.

In the race of life, those who are in Christ keep their eyes on Him and--lo and behold--one day we'll end up at the finish line . . . only to discover that the streets of Heaven are paved with gold, and the medal is His "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of thy Lord."

*2080 hours per year is considered full-time employment.

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