God's word in today's world

Keeping the right winning post in sight

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Paul said: 26I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! Like an athlete exerting himself to the utmost to win the race, Paul tried his utmost to win the first prize. Everything was focused on the race.

An athlete has to make a lot of sacrifices to win. Just look at the food he has to eat. When his friends are standing around the braaivleis fire licking the juicy fat from their fingers, he cuts it off and throws it into the bin. He deprives himself from enjoying it, because he knows that eating something wrong will derail all his plans to win the race. When others are still lying under the duvet, he is already hard at practise. Whatever the weather, he has to follow his training programme and he knows if he doesn’t train, he loses the chance of being the winner.

Looking around me I see many people training hard to successfully finishing the race of life. They put a lot of energy into winning. But with a shock I realise that many people are competing for the wrong prize. Look at what most people are spending energy on. People work ten to twelve hours a day to finance to nice house and the nice car and the nice clothes and the nice vacations. Like Paul, they play the game of life as well as they can. All they have in sight is the winning post. The only problem is it’s not the right winning post.

Often there are a lot of hurt and disillusionment at this winning post. As the athletes look back on their lives, marriages are often on the rocks, relationships broke in pieces, destroyed self-images, and in some the will to live has simply disappeared. The prizes won here are no real prizes. It’s a tragedy. Each one of us must consider the race we’re running in. Towards what winning post am I running? What is the prize I can win there?

Does this mean I have to let everything go lock myself in a convent? No, God calls each of us to live His will there where we are busy on the market square. God wants us to work hard and play hard. He wants us to enjoy life to the full. God wants us to reach out and strive to reach the top in our career. God had no problem with our dreams of driving nice cars and living in big houses. But we must do everything with our eyes on the right winning post.

On the way to the winning post we take people are struggling by the hand and bring them to places where they can rest and their suffering can be relieved. During this race we don’t turn away from people struggling in the dark. No, we bring them to the Light. We pick up the sick and help them to get to the great Healer.

You see, this race has opportunities to win again and again. If you don’t experience this in your life, chances are that you’re on your way to the wrong winning post.

It’s not always easy to remain on course here where we’re running the race in the world. Therefore it’s important to train hard, and, yes, to sometimes keep away from the things not beneficial to our purpose and to do our utmost to finish the race successfully. Let us do everything possible every day to do God’s will so that at the end of the day we can receive the winner’s prize in God’s arms.


Are you running the right race?

What are you striving for?

Is God part of your plans every day?


Lord, I really want to take part in Your race. But I know that I sometimes have the world’s winning post in sight. Please help me never to lose sight of Your winning post in everything I do and everything I strive for. Amen

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